Will There Be Blood? Incentives And Substitution Effects In Pro-Social Behavior
AbstractWe present evidence from observational data on nearly 14,000 American Red Cross blood drives and from a randomized natural field experiment showing that economic incentives have a positive effect on blood donations without increasing the fraction of donors who come to a drive but are ineligible to donate. We also show that the effect of incentives on donations increases with the incentive's economic value. However, we further show that a substantial proportion of the increase in donations due to incentives may be explained by donors leaving neighboring drives without incentives to attend the drive with incentives, and the likelihood of this substitution is higher the higher the monetary value of the incentive offered. We conclude that extrinsic incentives stimulate pro-social behavior, but, unless substitution effects are also considered, the effect of incentives may be overesti mated.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Sydney, School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2010-02.
Date of creation: Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- Lacetera, Nicola & Macis, Mario & Slonim, Robert, 2009. "Will There Be Blood? Incentives and Substitution Effects in Pro-social Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 4567, 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
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-11-27 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2010-11-27 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2010-11-27 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2010-11-27 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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