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Blood Donations and Incentives: Evidence from a Field Experiment

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  • 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
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    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

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