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

Author

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  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Iajya, Victor & Lacetera, Nicola & Macis, Mario & Slonim, Robert, 2013. "The effects of information, social and financial incentives on voluntary undirected blood donations: Evidence from a field experiment in Argentina," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 214-223.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:98:y:2013:i:c:p:214-223
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.09.012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Guodong Gao & Tianshu Sun & Ginger Zhe Jin, 2015. "Mobile Messaging for Offline Social Interactions: A Large Field Expeiment," Natural Field Experiments 00571, The Field Experiments Website.
    2. repec:eee:labeco:v:45:y:2017:i:c:p:92-106 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Tianshu Sun & Susan Feng Lu & Ginger Zhe Jin, 2015. "Solving Shortage in a Priceless Market: Insights from Blood Donation," NBER Working Papers 21312, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Singh, Prakarsh, 2015. "Performance pay and information: Reducing child undernutrition in India," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 141-163.
    5. Sun, Tianshu & Lu, Susan Feng & Jin, Ginger Zhe, 2016. "Solving shortage in a priceless market: Insights from blood donation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 149-165.
    6. Tianshu Sun & Guodong (Gordon) Gao & Ginger Zhe Jin, 2015. "Mobile Messaging for Offline Group Formation in Prosocial Activities: A Large Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 21704, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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