Moral Nimby-Ism? Understanding Societal Support for Monetary Compensation to Plasma Donors in Canada

27 Pages Posted: 14 May 2018

See all articles by Nicola Lacetera

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)

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Abstract

The growing demand for plasma, especially for the manufacture of therapeutic products, prompts discussions on the merits of different procurement systems. We conducted a randomized survey experiment with a representative sample of 826 Canadian residents to assess attitudes toward legalizing payments to plasma donors, a practice that is illegal in several Canadian provinces. We found no evidence of widespread societal opposition to payments to plasma donors. On the contrary, over 70% of respondents reported that they would support compensation.Our Canadian respondents were more in favor of paying plasma donors elsewhere than in Canada, but the differences were small, suggesting a weak role for moral "NIMBY-ism" or relativism. Moral concerns were the respondents' main reason for opposing payments, together with concerns for the safety of plasma from compensated donors, although most of the plasma in Canada does come from paid U.S. donors. Among those in favor of legalizing payments to donors, the main rationale was to guarantee a higher domestic supply. Finally, roughly half of those who declared to be against payments reported that they would reconsider their position if domestic supply plus imports did not cover domestic demand. Most Canadians, therefore, seem to espouse a consequentialist view on issues related to the procurement of plasma.

Keywords: altruism, plasma donation, ethics

JEL Classification: C01, D63, D64, I11

Suggested Citation

Lacetera, Nicola and Macis, Mario, Moral Nimby-Ism? Understanding Societal Support for Monetary Compensation to Plasma Donors in Canada. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11509. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3177385

Nicola Lacetera (Contact Author)

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

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