Comparative Advantage in Everything: Danish Sperm


Reader Mike Kelty sends along some good news from Denmark, where viking sperm is an increasingly valuable export. It's not just that the world wants tall, blue-eyed progeny, though that helps. A few other European countries have recently outlawed anonymous donation, causing shortages and creating demand for foreign sperm. Instead of doing the same, Denmark simply started offering travel deals to fertility tourists. The bid for DNA domination seems to be working:

In the same way that some nations have oil fields or bread mountains, Denmark boasts an ever-growing sperm lake. The vault at Cryos HQ holds around 75,000 straws. It is far too much sperm for a nation where only 65,000 children are born each year, so Denmark is a net exporter. The efforts of the men of Arhus, Odense and Copenhagen have helped to engender an estimated 12,000 children around the world, and each year "the Danish stuff" brings forth some 1,400 more.

Reproductive freedom owes much to this happy mix of of moral pluralism and patient mobility. When European bureaucrats get worked up over IVF, someone inevitably points out that couples will just pick up some gametes while on vacation one country over.