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Active Decisions and Pro-social Behavior: A Field Experiment on Blood Donation

  • Lorenz Goette
  • Alois Stutzer

    ()

  • Michael Zehnder

    ()

    (University of Basel)

In this paper, we propose a decision framework where people are individually asked to either actively consent or dissent to some pro-social behavior. We hypothesize that confronting individuals with the choice of engaging in a specific pro-social behavior contributes to the formation of issue-specific altruistic preferences while simultaneously involving a commitment. The hypothesis is tested in a large-scale field experiment on blood donation. We find that this "active-decision" intervention substantially increases the actual donation behavior of people who have not fully formed preferences beforehand.

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Paper provided by Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel in its series Working papers with number 2006/07.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:bsl:wpaper:2006/07
Contact details of provider: Postal: Peter-Merian-Weg 6, Postfach, CH-4002 Basel
Web page: http://wwz.unibas.ch

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  1. Moffitt, Robert A., 1999. "New developments in econometric methods for labor market analysis," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 24, pages 1367-1397 Elsevier.
  2. Richard H. Thaler & Cass R. Sunstein, 2003. "Libertarian Paternalism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 175-179, May.
  3. Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. " Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
  4. Kahneman, Daniel & Ritov, Ilana & Schkade, David A, 1999. "Economic Preferences or Attitude Expressions?: An Analysis of Dollar Responses to Public Issues," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 203-35, December.
  5. Carroll, Gabriel D. & Choi, James J. & Laibson, David I. & Madrian, Brigitte & Metrick, Andrew, 2009. "Optimal Defaults and Active Decisions," Scholarly Articles 4686776, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Stefano DellaVigna & Ulrike Malmendier, 2006. "Paying Not to Go to the Gym," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 694-719, June.
  7. Morwitz, Vicki G & Johnson, Eric J & Schmittlein, David C, 1993. " Does Measuring Intent Change Behavior?," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(1), pages 46-61, June.
  8. Bruno S. Frey, 1997. "Not Just for the Money," Books, Edward Elgar, number 1183, December.
  9. Akerlof, George A, 1991. "Procrastination and Obedience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 1-19, May.
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