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The Effects of Information, Social and Economic Incentives on Voluntary Undirected Blood Donations: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial in Argentina

Author

Listed:
  • Victor Iajya
  • Nicola Lacetera
  • Mario Macis
  • Robert Slonim

Abstract

In many low- and middle-income countries blood donations per capita are substantially lower than in advanced economies. In these countries blood supply is mostly collected through donations by relatives and friends of individuals needing transfusions or to replace blood used in emergencies. The World Health Organization considers this method of blood supply inefficient compared to undirected voluntary donations. To examine methods to motivate undirected voluntary donations, we ran a large-scale, natural field experiment in Argentina testing the effectiveness of information, social and economic incentives. We find that only higher-valued economic incentives generated more donations, increasing in the value of the incentive. These incentives did not create adverse selection in the safety and usability of the donated blood. We discuss the implications of our findings for researchers interested in understanding motivations for pro-social behavior and for health agencies and policymakers concerned with the current and growing shortages in blood supply in low- and middle-income countries.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18630
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Guodong Gao & Tianshu Sun & Ginger Zhe Jin, 2015. "Mobile Messaging for Offline Social Interactions: A Large Field Expeiment," Natural Field Experiments 00571, The Field Experiments Website.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Tianshu Sun & Guodong (Gordon) Gao & Ginger Zhe Jin, 2019. "Mobile Messaging for Offline Group Formation in Prosocial Activities: A Large Field Experiment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 67(6), pages 2717-2736, June.
    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. Nicola Lacetera & Mario Macis & Robert Slonim, 2014. "Rewarding Volunteers: A Field Experiment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 60(5), pages 1107-1129, May.
    7. Caroline Graf & Eva-Maria Merz & Bianca Suanet & Pamala Wiepking, 2021. "Social Norms Offer Explanation for Inconsistent Effects of Incentives on Prosocial Behavior," Papers 2104.13652, arXiv.org.
    8. Tianshu Sun & Guodong (Gordon) Gao & Ginger Zhe Jin, 2015. "Mobile Messaging for Offline Group Formation in Prosocial Activities: A Large Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 21704, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development

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