Blood Donations and Incentives: Evidence from a Field Experiment
58 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2019
Date Written: April 2019
There is a longstanding concern that material incentives might undermine pro-social 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 rewards: a lottery ticket and a free cholesterol test. Lottery tickets significantly increase donations during the experiment, in particular among less motivated donors. Moreover, no reduction in donations is observed after the experiment. The free cholesterol test leads to no discernable impact on blood donations during and after the experiment.
Keywords: blood donations, field experiment, material incentives, motivation crowding effect, pro-social behavior
JEL Classification: C93, D64, H41, I18
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