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Incentives when altruism is impure: The case of blood and living organ donations

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Abstract

The decision to donate blood and living organs is considered voluntary and altruistic. However, the shortage of donors has opened an interesting debate in recent years, considering offering economic incentives to donors. This paper analyzes theoretically and empirically, the effects of incentives over individuals when facing the decision of becoming donors. Results show that crowding-in of blood donors would be more likely by offering "Information concerning blood donations" or "Blood Tests". In both, blood and living organ donations, "Money" would be very likely to crowd-out individuals from donating. Concerning living organs, we do not find good evidence for crowding-in. We conclude donation policies, properly designed, could help to increase the number of donors, and more specifically suggest implementing non-monetary incentives.

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  • María Errea & Juan M. Cabasés, 2013. "Incentives when altruism is impure: The case of blood and living organ donations," Documentos de Trabajo - Lan Gaiak Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra 1302, Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra.
  • Handle: RePEc:nav:ecupna:1302
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    File URL: ftp://ftp.econ.unavarra.es/pub/DocumentosTrab/DT1302.PDF
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    1. Abadie, Alberto & Gay, Sebastien, 2006. "The impact of presumed consent legislation on cadaveric organ donation: A cross-country study," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 599-620, July.
    2. Gary S. Becker & Julio Jorge Elías, 2007. "Introducing Incentives in the Market for Live and Cadaveric Organ Donations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 3-24, Summer.
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    Keywords

    social preferences; incentives; altruism; blood and living organ donations;

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