Rewarding Altruism? A Natural Field Experiment
We present evidence from a natural field experiment involving nearly 100,000 individuals on the effects of offering economic incentives for blood donations. Subjects who were offered economic rewards to donate blood were more likely to donate, and more so the higher the value of the rewards. They were also more likely to attract others to donate, spatially alter the location of their donations towards the drives offering rewards, and modify their temporal donation schedule leading to a short-term reduction in donations immediately after the reward offer was removed. Although offering economic incentives, combining all of these effects, positively and significantly increased donations, ignoring individuals who took additional actions beyond donating to get others to donate would have led to an under-estimate of the total effect, whereas ignoring the spatial effect would have led to an over-estimate of the total effect. We also find that individuals who received a reward by surprise were less likely to donate after the intervention than subjects who received no reward, suggesting that for some individuals a surprise reward adversely affected their intrinsic motivations. We discuss the implications of these findings for understanding pro-social behavior.
|Date of creation:||2011|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://bfi.uchicago.edu/|
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Nava Ashraf & Oriana Bandiera & Kelsy Jack, 2012.
"No margin, no mission?: a field experiment on incentives for pro-social tasks,"
LSE Research Online Documents on Economics
51614, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Ashraf, Nava & Bandiera, Oriana & Jack, Kelsey, 2012. "No margin, no mission? A Field Experiment on Incentives for Pro-Social Tasks," CEPR Discussion Papers 8834, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Emma Hall & Carol Propper & John Van Reenen, 2008.
"Can Pay Regulation Kill? Panel Data Evidence on the Effect of Labor Markets on Hospital Performance,"
CEP Discussion Papers
dp0843, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Carol Propper & John Van Reenen, 2010. "Can Pay Regulation Kill? Panel Data Evidence on the Effect of Labor Markets on Hospital Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(2), pages 222-273, 04.
- Hall, Emma & Propper, Carol & Van Reenen, John, 2008. "Can Pay Regulation Kill? Panel Data Evidence on the Effect of Labour Markets on Hospital Performance," CEPR Discussion Papers 6643, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Emma Hall & Carol Propper & John Van Reenen, 2008. "Can pay regulation kill? Panel data evidence on the effect of labor markets on hospital performance," NBER Working Papers 13776, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Emma Hall & Carol Propper & John Van Reenen, 2007. "Can pay regulation kill? Panel data evidence on the effect of labor markets on hospital performance," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 08/184, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
- Emma Hall & Carol Propper & John Van Reenen, 2008. "Can pay regulation kill? Panel data evidence on the effect of labor markets on hospital performance," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3282, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Glenn Harrison & John List, 2004.
Artefactual Field Experiments
00058, The Field Experiments Website.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Stephan Meier, 2006. "A survey of economic theories and field evidence on pro-social behavior," Working Papers 06-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
- repec:feb:artefa:0090 is not listed on IDEAS
- Jessica Cohen & Pascaline Dupas, 2010. "Free Distribution or Cost-Sharing? Evidence from a Randomized Malaria Prevention Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 1-45.
- John A. List, 2011. "The Market for Charitable Giving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 157-80, Spring.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bfi:wpaper:2011-010. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Toni Shears)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.