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Blood donations and incentives : evidence from a field experiment

Author

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  • Goette, Lorenz
  • Stutzer, Alois

    () (University of Basel)

Abstract

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 affect blood donations in a large-scale field 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 significantly 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 effect in terms of donations that must be discarded.

Suggested Citation

  • Goette, Lorenz & Stutzer, Alois, 2008. "Blood donations and incentives : evidence from a field experiment," Working papers 2008/05, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
  • Handle: RePEc:bsl:wpaper:2008/05
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Craig, Ashley & Garbarino, Ellen & Heger, Stephanie A. & Slonim, Robert, 2014. "Waiting To Give," IZA Discussion Papers 8491, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Lacetera, Nicola & Macis, Mario & Slonim, Robert, 2009. "Will There Be Blood? Incentives and Substitution Effects in Pro-social Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 4567, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Dwenger, Nadja & Kleven, Henrik & Rasul, Imran & Rincke, Johannes, 2014. "Extrinsic vs Intrinsic Motivations for Tax Compliance. Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment in Germany," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100389, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Hammermann, Andrea & Mohnen, Alwine, 2014. "The pric(z)e of hard work," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 1-15.
    5. 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.
    6. Slonim, Robert & Wang, Carmen, 2016. "Market Design for Altruistic Supply: Evidence from the Lab," IZA Discussion Papers 9650, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Adrian Bruhin & Lorenz Goette & Simon Haenni & Lingqing Jiang, 2014. "Spillovers of Prosocial Motivation: Evidence from an Intervention Study on Blood Donors," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 14.10, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
    8. Ashraf, Nava & Bandiera, Oriana & Jack, B. Kelsey, 2014. "No margin, no mission? A field experiment on incentives for public service delivery," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 1-17.
    9. Lacetera, Nicola & Macis, Mario, 2008. "Motivating Altruism: A Field Study," IZA Discussion Papers 3770, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. 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.
    11. Goette, Lorenz & Stutzer, Alois, 2008. "Blood donations and incentives : evidence from a field experiment," Working papers 2008/05, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
    12. Sanjit Dhami, 2017. "Human Ethics and Virtues: Rethinking the Homo-Economicus Model," CESifo Working Paper Series 6836, CESifo Group Munich.
    13. repec:eee:ecmode:v:72:y:2018:i:c:p:54-64 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Brigitte C. Madrian, 2014. "Applying Insights from Behavioral Economics to Policy Design," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 663-688, August.
    15. repec:eee:ijrema:v:31:y:2014:i:1:p:107-116 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. 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.
    17. repec:zbw:vfsc14:100605 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Lacetera, Nicola & Macis, Mario, 2008. "Social Image Concerns and Pro-Social Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 3771, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    19. Bilgel, Fırat & Galle, Brian, 2015. "Financial incentives for kidney donation: A comparative case study using synthetic controls," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 103-117.
    20. Catalina Tejada & Eliana Ferrara & Henrik Kleven & Florian Blum & Oriana Bandiera & Michel Azulai, 2015. "State Effectiveness, Growth, and Development," Working Papers id:6668, eSocialSciences.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    prosocial behavior; blood donations; material incentives; field experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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