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Active decisions and pro-social behavior: A field experiment on blood donation

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  • Lorenz Goette
  • Alois Stutzer
  • Michael Zehnder

Abstract

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 stated willingness to donate blood, as well as the actual donation behavior of people who have not fully formed preferences beforehand.

Suggested Citation

  • Lorenz Goette & Alois Stutzer & Michael Zehnder, 2006. "Active decisions and pro-social behavior: A field experiment on blood donation," Natural Field Experiments 00335, The Field Experiments Website.
  • Handle: RePEc:feb:natura:00335
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Meyer, Christian Johannes & Tripodi, Egon, 2021. "Image concerns in pledges to give blood: Evidence from a field experiment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 87(C).
    2. Jeworrek, Sabrina & Mertins, Vanessa, 2019. "Mission, motivation, and the active decision to work for a social cause," IWH Discussion Papers 10/2019, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    3. Jiang Bing & Allen Samuel K., 2019. "To Be a Blood Donor or Not to Be? Investigating Institutional and Student Characteristics at a Military College," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 19(4), pages 1-17, October.
    4. Beshears, John & Choi, James J. & Laibson, David & Madrian, Brigitte C., 2021. "Active choice, implicit defaults, and the incentive to choose," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 6-16.
    5. 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.
    6. Peters, Jörg & Langbein, Jörg & Roberts, Gareth, 2016. "Policy evaluation, randomized controlled trials, and external validity—A systematic review," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 51-54.
    7. Nicola Lacetera & Mario Macis & Robert Slonim, 2014. "Rewarding Volunteers: A Field Experiment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 60(5), pages 1107-1129, May.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Dolan, Paul & Krekel, Christian & Shreedhar, Ganga & Lee, Helen & Marshall, Claire & Smith, Allison, 2021. "Happy to Help: The Welfare Effects of a Nationwide Micro-Volunteering Programme," IZA Discussion Papers 14431, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Kesternich, Martin & Römer, Daniel & Flues, Florens, 2019. "The power of active choice: Field experimental evidence on repeated contribution decisions to a carbon offsetting program," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 76-91.
    12. Moseley, Alice & Stoker, Gerry, 2013. "Nudging citizens? Prospects and pitfalls confronting a new heuristic," Resources, Conservation & Recycling, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 4-10.
    13. David Huffman & Michael Bognanno, 2018. "High-Powered Performance Pay and Crowding Out of Nonmonetary Motives," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 64(10), pages 4669-4680, October.
    14. Hintermann, Beat & Lange, Andreas, 2013. "Learning abatement costs: On the dynamics of the optimal regulation of experience goods," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 625-638.
    15. 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.
    16. Michael Haylock & Patrick Kampkötter & Mario Macis & Jürgen Sauter & Susanne Seitz & Robert Slonim & Daniel Wiesen & Alexander H. Schmidt, 2022. "Improving the Availability of Unrelated Stem Cell Donors: Evidence from a Major Donor Registry," NBER Working Papers 29857, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Ernst Fehr & Karla Hoff, 2011. "Tastes, castes, and culture: The influence of society on preferences," ECON - Working Papers 026, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    18. Buffat, Justin & Goette, Lorenz & Grassi, Simona, 2020. "Thinking about and deciding to be an organ donor: An experimental analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 265(C).
    19. Wagner, Valentin, 2022. "Heterogeneous effects of grade framing," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
    20. van Dalen, Hendrik P. & Henkens, Kène, 2014. "Comparing the effects of defaults in organ donation systems," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 137-142.
    21. Ai Takeuchi & Erika Seki, 2019. "Coordination and free-riding problems in blood donations," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 19-15, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

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

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