IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/bsl/wpaper/2019-20.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Blood Donations and Incentives: Evidence from a Field Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Goette, Lorenz
  • Stutzer, Alois

    () (University of Basel)

Abstract

There is a longstanding concern that material rewards might undermine pro-social motivations, thereby leading to a decrease in blood donations. This paper provides an empirical test of how material rewards affect blood donations in a three-month large-scale field experiment and a fifteen-month follow-up period, involving more than 10,000 previous donors. We examine the efficacy of a lottery ticket as a reward vis-à-vis a standard invitation, an appeal, and a free cholesterol test. The offer of a lottery ticket, on average, increases the probability to donate blood during the experiment by 5.6 percentage points over a baseline donation rate of 46 percent. We find that this effect is driven by less motivated donors. Moreover, no reduction in donations is observed after the experiment.

Suggested Citation

  • Goette, Lorenz & Stutzer, Alois, 2019. "Blood Donations and Incentives: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Working papers 2019/20, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
  • Handle: RePEc:bsl:wpaper:2019/20
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/73000/1/20191125111538_5ddba9cabc160.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bénabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2007. "Identity, Dignity and Taboos: Beliefs as Assets," CEPR Discussion Papers 6123, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Gneezy, Uri & Rustichini, Aldo, 2000. "A Fine is a Price," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 1-17, January.
    3. Emir Kamenica, 2012. "Behavioral Economics and Psychology of Incentives," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 427-452, July.
    4. Wildman, John & Hollingsworth, Bruce, 2009. "Blood donation and the nature of altruism," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 492-503, March.
    5. Lacetera, Nicola & Macis, Mario, 2010. "Social image concerns and prosocial behavior: Field evidence from a nonlinear incentive scheme," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 225-237, November.
    6. Alois Stutzer & Lorenz Goette & Michael Zehnder, 2011. "Active Decisions and Prosocial Behaviour: a Field Experiment on Blood Donation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(556), pages 476-493, November.
    7. 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, June.
    8. Dean Karlan & John A. List, 2007. "Does Price Matter in Charitable Giving? Evidence from a Large-Scale Natural Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1774-1793, December.
    9. Carol Ernst & Michael Gerfin & Robert E. Leu, 2000. "Inequality Trends in the Swiss Income Distribution," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 136(III), pages 289-305, September.
    10. Goette, Lorenz & Stutzer, Alois, 2020. "Blood donations and incentives: Evidence from a field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 170(C), pages 52-74.
    11. Jean Tirole & Roland Bénabou, 2006. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1652-1678, December.
    12. 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.
    13. Tore Ellingsen & Magnus Johannesson, 2008. "Pride and Prejudice: The Human Side of Incentive Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 990-1008, June.
    14. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2000. "Pay Enough or Don't Pay at All," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 791-810.
    15. Patrick A. Puhani, 2003. "Relative Demand Shocks and Relative Wage Rigidities During the Rise and Fall of Swiss Unemployment," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(4), pages 541-562, November.
    16. Rachel Croson & Jen Shang, 2008. "The impact of downward social information on contribution decisions," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 11(3), pages 221-233, September.
    17. Dan Ariely & Anat Bracha & Stephan Meier, 2009. "Doing Good or Doing Well? Image Motivation and Monetary Incentives in Behaving Prosocially," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 544-555, March.
    18. Frey, Bruno S & Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, 1997. "The Cost of Price Incentives: An Empirical Analysis of Motivation Crowding-Out," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 746-755, September.
    19. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, 2004. "Social Comparisons and Pro-social Behavior: Testing "Conditional Cooperation" in a Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1717-1722, December.
    20. Craig E. Landry & Andreas Lange & John A. List & Michael K. Price & Nicholas G. Rupp, 2006. "Toward an Understanding of the Economics of Charity: Evidence from a Field Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 747-782.
    21. Stephan Meier, 2006. "A survey of economic theories and field evidence on pro-social behavior," Working Papers 06-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    22. 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 464-477, June.
    23. Nicola Lacetera & Mario Macis & Robert Slonim, 2012. "Will There Be Blood? Incentives and Displacement Effects in Pro-social Behavior," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 186-223, February.
    24. 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.
    25. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2011. "Identity, Morals, and Taboos: Beliefs as Assets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(2), pages 805-855.
    26. Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David B. & Sunde, Uwe & Schupp, Jürgen & Wagner, Gert G., 2005. "Individual Risk Attitudes: New Evidence from a Large, Representative, Experimentally-Validated Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 1730, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    27. Patrick A. Puhani, 2005. "Relative Supply and Demand for Skills in Switzerland," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 141(IV), pages 555-584, December.
    28. Leipnitz, Sigrun & de Vries, Martha & Clement, Michel & Mazar, Nina, 2018. "Providing health checks as incentives to retain blood donors — Evidence from two field experiments," International Journal of Research in Marketing, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 628-640.
    29. Robert Slonim & Carmen Wang & Ellen Garbarino, 2014. "The Market for Blood," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(2), pages 177-196, Spring.
    30. Enrico Bolzani & Ramses H. Abul Naga, 2002. "La Distribution des Salaires en Suisse: Quelques Observations sur la Récession des Années 90," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 138(II), pages 115-136, June.
    31. Uri Gneezy & Stephan Meier & Pedro Rey-Biel, 2011. "When and Why Incentives (Don't) Work to Modify Behavior," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(4), pages 191-210, Fall.
    32. Gary Charness & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Incentives to Exercise," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 909-931, May.
    33. Bruno S. Frey & Reto Jegen, 2000. "Motivation Crowding Theory: A Survey of Empirical Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 245, CESifo.
    34. Dirk Sliwka, 2007. "Trust as a Signal of a Social Norm and the Hidden Costs of Incentive Schemes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 999-1012, June.
    35. Alberto Abadie & Susan Athey & Guido Imbens & Jeffrey Wooldridge, 2017. "When Should You Adjust Standard Errors for Clustering?," Papers 1710.02926, arXiv.org, revised Oct 2017.
    36. 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.
    37. Nicola Lacetera & Mario Macis & Robert Slonim, 2014. "Rewarding Volunteers: A Field Experiment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 60(5), pages 1107-1129, May.
    38. Victor Iajya & Nicola Lacetera & Mario Macis & Robert Slonim, 2012. "The Effects of Information, Social and Economic Incentives on Voluntary Undirected Blood Donations: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial in Argentina," NBER Working Papers 18630, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    39. Stigler, George J & Becker, Gary S, 1977. "De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 76-90, March.
    40. Daniel Lampart & Andres Frick, 2005. "Wirtschaftliche Auswirkungen von Lohnerhoehungen in der Detailhandelsbranche," KOF Working papers 05-120, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    41. Bruno S. Frey & Reto Jegen, 2001. "Motivation Crowding Theory," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(5), pages 589-611, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Goette, Lorenz & Stutzer, Alois, 2020. "Blood donations and incentives: Evidence from a field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 170(C), pages 52-74.
    2. Craig, Ashley & Garbarino, Ellen & Heger, Stephanie A. & Slonim, Robert, 2014. "Waiting To Give," IZA Discussion Papers 8491, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. 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.
    4. Sanjit Dhami, 2017. "Human Ethics and Virtues: Rethinking the Homo-Economicus Model," CESifo Working Paper Series 6836, CESifo.
    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. Lacetera, Nicola & Macis, Mario & Slonim, Robert, 2009. "Will There Be Blood? Incentives and Substitution Effects in Pro-social Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 4567, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Leipnitz, Sigrun & de Vries, Martha & Clement, Michel & Mazar, Nina, 2018. "Providing health checks as incentives to retain blood donors — Evidence from two field experiments," International Journal of Research in Marketing, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 628-640.
    8. 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.
    9. Dwenger, Nadja & Kleven, Henrik & Rasul, Imran & Rincke, Johannes, 2014. "Extrinsic vs Intrinsic Motivations for Tax Compliance. Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment in Germany," VfS Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100389, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. repec:zbw:vfsc14:100605 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. 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.
    12. Lacetera, Nicola & Macis, Mario, 2008. "Social Image Concerns and Pro-Social Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 3771, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Bruhin, Adrian & Goette, Lorenz & Haenni, Simon & Jiang, Lingqing, 2020. "Spillovers of prosocial motivation: Evidence from an intervention study on blood donors," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).
    14. Hammermann, Andrea & Mohnen, Alwine, 2014. "The pric(z)e of hard work," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 1-15.
    15. 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.
    16. Slonim, Robert & Wang, Carmen, 2016. "Market Design for Altruistic Supply: Evidence from the Lab," IZA Discussion Papers 9650, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. 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.
    18. Danijela Vuletic, 2015. "How Effective are Reminders and Frames in Incentivizing Blood Donations," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp554, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    19. Lacetera, Nicola & Macis, Mario, 2008. "Motivating Altruism: A Field Study," IZA Discussion Papers 3770, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    20. Caginalp, Gunduz & Ho, Shirley J., 2018. "Does competition inhibit fairness and altruism?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 54-64.
    21. Alt, Marius & Gallier, Carlo, 2021. "Incentives and intertemporal behavioral spillovers: A two-period experiment on charitable giving," ZEW Discussion Papers 21-010, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    22. Jin, Liyin & Huang, Yunhui, 2014. "When giving money does not work: The differential effects of monetary versus in-kind rewards in referral reward programs," International Journal of Research in Marketing, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 107-116.
    23. Catalina Tejada & Eliana Ferrara & Henrik Kleven & Florian Blum & Oriana Bandiera & Michel Azulai, 2015. "State Effectiveness, Growth, and Development," Working Papers id:6668, eSocialSciences.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Joan Costa-Font & Mireia Jofre-Bonet & Steven T. Yen, 2013. "Not All Incentives Wash Out the Warm Glow: The Case of Blood Donation Revisited," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(4), pages 529-551, November.
    2. 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.
    3. Huber, Laura Rosendahl & Sloof, Randolph & Van Praag, Mirjam, 2017. "The effect of incentives on sustainable behavior: evidence from a field experiment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 92-106.
    4. Nicola Lacetera & Mario Macis & Robert Slonim, 2014. "Rewarding Volunteers: A Field Experiment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 60(5), pages 1107-1129, May.
    5. Boyer, Pierre C. & Dwenger, Nadja & Rincke, Johannes, 2016. "Do norms on contribution behavior affect intrinsic motivation? Field-experimental evidence from Germany," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 140-153.
    6. 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.
    7. Christine L. Exley & Stephen J. Terry, 2015. "Wage Elasticities in Working and Volunteering: The Role of Reference Points in a Laboratory Study," Harvard Business School Working Papers 16-062, Harvard Business School, revised Jun 2017.
    8. Christine Exley, 2013. "Incentives for Prosocial Behavior: The Role of Reputations," Discussion Papers 12-022, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    9. Samuel Bowles & Sandra Polania-Reyes, 2011. "Economic incentives and social preferences: substitutes or complements?," Department of Economics University of Siena 617, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    10. Kessler, Judd B. & Roth, Alvin E., 2014. "Loopholes undermine donation: An experiment motivated by an organ donation priority loophole in Israel," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 19-28.
    11. Tanjim Hossain & King King Li, 2014. "Crowding Out in the Labor Market: A Prosocial Setting Is Necessary," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 60(5), pages 1148-1160, May.
    12. Christine L. Exley & Stephen J. Terry, 2019. "Wage Elasticities in Working and Volunteering: The Role of Reference Points in a Laboratory Study," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 65(1), pages 413-425, January.
    13. Dolan, Paul & Galizzi, Matteo M., 2015. "Like ripples on a pond: Behavioral spillovers and their implications for research and policy," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 1-16.
    14. Julian Conrads & Bernd Irlenbusch & Tommaso Reggiani & Rainer Michael Rilke & Dirk Sliwka, 2016. "How to hire helpers? Evidence from a field experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(3), pages 577-594, September.
    15. Krysiak, Frank C. & Oberauner, Iris Maria, 2010. "Environmental policy à la carte: Letting firms choose their regulation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 221-232, November.
    16. Newman, George E. & Jeremy Shen, Y., 2012. "The counterintuitive effects of thank-you gifts on charitable giving," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 973-983.
    17. 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.
    18. Ashley C. Craig & Ellen Garbarino & Stephanie A. Heger & Robert Slonim, 2017. "Waiting To Give: Stated and Revealed Preferences," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 63(11), pages 3672-3690, November.
    19. Rode, Julian & Gómez-Baggethun, Erik & Krause, Torsten, 2015. "Motivation crowding by economic incentives in conservation policy: A review of the empirical evidence," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 270-282.
    20. Kirsten Bregn, 2013. "Detrimental Effects of Performance-Related Pay in the Public Sector? On the Need for a Broader Theoretical Perspective," Public Organization Review, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 21-35, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    blood donations; field experiment; material rewards; motivation crowding effect; pro-social behavior;
    All these keywords.

    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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bsl:wpaper:2019/20. 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: (WWZ). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/wwzbsch.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.