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Blood Donations and Incentives: Evidence from a Field Experiment

34 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2008  

Lorenz Goette

University of Lausanne; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Alois Stutzer

University of Basel - Faculty of Business and Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Date Written: July 2008

Abstract

There is a longstanding concern that material incentives might undermine prosocial motivation, leading to a decrease in blood donations rather than an increase. This paper provides an empirical test of how material incentives affect blood donations in a large-scale field experiment spanning three months and involving more than 10,000 previous donors. We examine two types of incentive: a lottery ticket and a free cholesterol test. Lottery tickets significantly increase donations, in particular among less motivated donors. The cholesterol test leads to no discernable impact on usable blood donations. If anything, it creates a small negative selection effect in terms of donations that must be discarded.

Keywords: prosocial behavior, blood donations, material incentives, field experiment

JEL Classification: C93, D64, H41, I18

Suggested Citation

Goette, Lorenz and Stutzer, Alois, Blood Donations and Incentives: Evidence from a Field Experiment (July 2008). IZA Working Paper No. 3580. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1158977 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0042-7092.2007.00700.x

Lorenz F. Goette (Contact Author)

University of Lausanne ( email )

Department of Economics
Batiment Internef
Lausanne, 1015
Switzerland
(021) 692'3496 (Phone)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org

Alois Stutzer

University of Basel - Faculty of Business and Economics ( email )

Peter Merian-Weg 6
4002 Basel
Switzerland
0041 61 267 3361 (Phone)
0041 61 267 3340 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.wwz.unibas.ch/stutzer/

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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