Do all material incentives for pro-social activities backfire? The response to cash and non-cash incentives for blood donations
AbstractA number of experimental studies have documented that financial rewards discourage the performance of altruistic activities because they conflict with intrinsic altruistic motivations. However, it is unclear whether this is evidence of a generalized aversion to rewards or, rather, an aversion to receiving specific material prizes, such as cash. We conducted a randomized-controlled experiment, through a survey administered to 467 blood donors in an Italian town, and found that donors are not reluctant to receive compensation in general; a substantial share of respondents declared that they would stop being donors if given 10 Euros in cash, but we do not find such effects when a voucher of the same nominal value is offered instead. The aversion to direct cash payments is particularly marked among women, but does not emerge among individuals who have only recently become donors. All of our findings are robust to regression analyses. Implications for research and public policy are discussed.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.
Volume (Year): 31 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep
Altruism Public health Motivation and emotion;
Other versions of this item:
- Lacetera, Nicola & Macis, Mario, 2009. "Do All Material Incentives for Prosocial Activities Backfire? The Response to Cash and Non-Cash Incentives for Blood Donations," IZA Discussion Papers 4458, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
- D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy
- I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
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