Blood Donations and Incentives: Evidence from a Field Experiment

34 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2008 Last revised: 16 Apr 2023

See all articles by Lorenz Goette

Lorenz Goette

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

Alois Stutzer

University of Basel; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

JEL Classification: C93, D64, H41, I18

Suggested Citation

Goette, Lorenz F. and Stutzer, Alois, Blood Donations and Incentives: Evidence from a Field Experiment. IZA Discussion Paper No. 3580, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1158977 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1158977

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)

London
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 ( email )

Faculty of Business and Economics
Peter Merian-Weg 6
4002 Basel
Switzerland
0041 61 207 3361 (Phone)

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

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

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