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Blood Donations and Incentives: Evidence from a Field Experiment

  • Lorenz Goette
  • Alois Stutzer

    ()

    (University of Basel)

There is a longstanding concern that material incentives might undermine prosocial motivation, leading to a decrease in blood donations rather than an increase. This paper provides an empirical test of how material incentives a ect blood donations in a large-scale eld experiment spanning three months and involving more than 10,000 previous donors. We examine two types of incentive: a lottery ticket and a free cholesterol test. Lottery tickets signi cantly increase donations, in particular among less motivated donors. The cholesterol test leads to no discernable impact on usable blood donations. If anything, it creates a small negative selection e ect in terms of donations that must be discarded.

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Paper provided by Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel in its series Working papers with number 2008/04.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:bsl:wpaper:2008/04
Contact details of provider: Postal: Peter-Merian-Weg 6, Postfach, CH-4002 Basel
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  1. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Juergen Schupp & Gert Wagner, 2005. "Individual Risk Attitudes: New Evidence from a Large, Representative, Experimentally-Validated Survey," Working Papers 2096, The Field Experiments Website.
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  8. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
  9. Stephan Meier, 2006. "A survey of economic theories and field evidence on pro-social behavior," Working Papers 06-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  10. Götte, Lorenz & Stutzer, Alois, 2008. "Blood Donations and Incentives: Evidence from a Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 3580, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Sliwka, Dirk, 2006. "Trust as a Signal of a Social Norm and the Hidden Costs of Incentive Schemes," IZA Discussion Papers 2293, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-77, June.
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  14. Frey, Bruno S & Jegen, Reto, 2001. " Motivation Crowding Theory," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(5), pages 589-611, December.
  15. Jen Shang & Rachel Croson, 2008. "The impact of downward social information on contribution decisions," Natural Field Experiments 00322, The Field Experiments Website.
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