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The effects of information, social and financial incentives on voluntary undirected blood donations: Evidence from a field experiment in Argentina

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Author Info

  • Iajya, Victor
  • Lacetera, Nicola
  • Macis, Mario
  • Slonim, Robert

Abstract

In many low- and middle-income countries blood donations per capita are substantially lower than in advanced economies. In these countries blood supply is mostly collected through directed donations from relatives and friends to individuals needing transfusions or to replace blood used in emergencies. The World Health Organization considers this method of blood supply inefficient compared to undirected voluntary donations. To examine methods to motivate undirected voluntary donations, we ran a large-scale, natural field experiment in Argentina, testing the effectiveness of information, social and financial incentives. We find that only higher-valued financial incentives generated more donations, increasing with the value of the reward. These incentives did not create adverse selection in the safety or usability of the donated blood. We discuss the implications of our findings for researchers interested in understanding motivations for pro-social behavior and for health agencies and policymakers concerned with the current and growing shortages in blood supply in low- and middle-income countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

Volume (Year): 98 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 214-223

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Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:98:y:2013:i:c:p:214-223

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Related research

Keywords: Argentina; Blood donation; Blood safety; Incentives; Altruism; Social norms; Field experiments;

References

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  1. Okeke, Edward N. & Adepiti, Clement A. & Ajenifuja, Kayode O., 2013. "What is the price of prevention? New evidence from a field experiment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 207-218.
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  12. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2000. "Pay Enough Or Don'T Pay At All," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 791-810, August.
  13. Nicola Lacetera & Mario Macis, 2013. "Time for Blood: The Effect of Paid Leave Legislation on Altruistic Behavior," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(6), pages 1384-1420, December.
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  17. Lacetera, Nicola & Macis, Mario, 2010. "Social image concerns and prosocial behavior: Field evidence from a nonlinear incentive scheme," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 225-237, November.
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