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

26 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2012

See all articles by Victor Iajya

Victor Iajya

Universidad Nacional de Tucumán - Facultad de Ciencias Económicas

Nicola Lacetera

University of Toronto - Strategic Management; University of Toronto at Mississauga - Department of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Mario Macis

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Robert Slonim

The University of Sydney; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: December 2012

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

Iajya, Victor and Lacetera, Nicola and Macis, Mario and Slonim, Robert, The Effects of Information, Social and Economic Incentives on Voluntary Undirected Blood Donations: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial in Argentina (December 2012). NBER Working Paper No. w18630. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2192803

Victor Iajya (Contact Author)

Universidad Nacional de Tucumán - Facultad de Ciencias Económicas ( email )

Argentina

Nicola Lacetera

University of Toronto - Strategic Management ( email )

Canada

University of Toronto at Mississauga - Department of Management

Canada

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Mario Macis

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School ( email )

100 International Drive
Baltimore, MD 21202
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Robert Slonim

The University of Sydney ( email )

University of Sydney
Sydney, NC NSW 2006
Australia

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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

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