Active Decisions and Prosocial Behaviour: A Field Experiment on Blood Donation

18 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2011

See all articles by Alois Stutzer

Alois Stutzer

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

Lorenz Goette

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

Date Written: November 2011

Abstract

Assigning a subjective value to a contribution to a public good often requires reflection. For many reasons, this reflection may be put off, reinforcing the underprovision of public goods. We hypothesise that nudging individuals to reflect on whether to contribute to a public good leads to the formation of issue‐specific altruistic preferences. The hypothesis is tested in a large‐scale field experiment on blood donations. We find that an ‘active‐decision’ intervention substantially increases donations among subjects who had not previously thought about the importance of donating blood. By contrast, contributions of individuals who had previously engaged in such reflection are unchanged.

Suggested Citation

Stutzer, Alois and Goette, Lorenz F., Active Decisions and Prosocial Behaviour: A Field Experiment on Blood Donation (November 2011). The Economic Journal, Vol. 121, Issue 556, pp. F476-F493, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1948948 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2011.02477.x

Alois Stutzer (Contact Author)

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

Lorenz F. Goette

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

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