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Active Decisions and Prosocial Behaviour: a Field Experiment on Blood Donation

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  • Alois Stutzer
  • Lorenz Goette
  • Michael Zehnder

Abstract

In this paper, we propose a decision framework where people are individually asked to either actively consent or dissent to some pro-social behavior. We hypothesize that confronting individuals with the choice of engaging in a specific pro-social behavior contributes to the formation of issue-specific altruistic preferences while simultaneously involving a commitment. The hypothesis is tested in a large-scale field experiment on blood donation. We find that this "active-decision" intervention substantially increases the stated willingness to donate blood, as well as the actual donation behavior of people who have not fully formed preferences beforehand.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2011.02477.x
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 121 (2011)
Issue (Month): 556 (November)
Pages: F476-F493

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:121:y:2011:i:556:p:f476-f493

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  1. Carroll, Gabriel D. & Choi, James J. & Laibson, David I. & Madrian, Brigitte & Metrick, Andrew, 2009. "Optimal Defaults and Active Decisions," Scholarly Articles 4686776, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Kahneman, Daniel & Ritov, Ilana & Schkade, David A, 1999. "Economic Preferences or Attitude Expressions?: An Analysis of Dollar Responses to Public Issues," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 203-35, December.
  3. Richard H. Thaler & Cass R. Sunstein, 2003. "Libertarian Paternalism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 175-179, May.
  4. Akerlof, George A, 1991. "Procrastination and Obedience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 1-19, May.
  5. Moffitt, Robert A., 1999. "New developments in econometric methods for labor market analysis," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 24, pages 1367-1397 Elsevier.
  6. Morwitz, Vicki G & Johnson, Eric J & Schmittlein, David C, 1993. " Does Measuring Intent Change Behavior?," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(1), pages 46-61, June.
  7. Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. " Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Fehr, Ernst & Hoff, Karla, 2011. "Tastes, Castes, and Culture: The Influence of Society on Preferences," IZA Discussion Papers 5919, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. van Dalen, Hendrik P. & Henkens, Kène, 2014. "Comparing the effects of defaults in organ donation systems," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 137-142.
  3. Hintermann, Beat & Lange, Andreas, 2013. "Learning abatement costs: On the dynamics of the optimal regulation of experience goods," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 625-638.

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