Will There Be Blood? Incentives and Displacement Effects in Pro-social Behavior
We present evidence from nearly 14,000 American Red Cross blood drives and from a natural field experiment showing that economic incentives have a positive effect on blood donations without increasing the fraction of donors who are ineligible to donate. The effect increases with the incentive's economic value. However, a substantial proportion of the increase in donations is explained by donors leaving neighboring drives without incentives to attend drives with incentives; this displacement also increases with the economic value of the incentive. We conclude that extrinsic incentives stimulate prosocial behavior, but unless displacement effects are considered, the effect may be overestimated. (JEL D64, H41, I12)
Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
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Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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).
- Lacetera, Nicola & Macis, Mario, 2010. "Do all material incentives for pro-social activities backfire? The response to cash and non-cash incentives for blood donations," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 738-748, August.
- Frey, Bruno S & Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, 1997. "The Cost of Price Incentives: An Empirical Analysis of Motivation Crowding-Out," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 746-55, September.
- Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
- John A. List, 2011. "The Market for Charitable Giving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 157-80, Spring.
- Mellström, Carl & Johannesson, Magnus, 2005.
"Crowding Out in Blood Donation: Was Titmuss Right?,"
Working Papers in Economics
180, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 08 Feb 2008.
- Carl Mellström & Magnus Johannesson, 2008. "Crowding Out in Blood Donation: Was Titmuss Right?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(4), pages 845-863, 06.
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