Active Decisions and Pro-Social Behavior

26 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2006

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

Michael Zehnder

University of Zurich - Department of Economics

Date Written: June 11, 2007

Abstract

In this paper, we propose a decision framework where people are individually asked to either actively consent to or dissent from some pro-social behavior. We hypothesize that confronting individuals with the choice of whether to engage in a specific pro-social behavior contributes to the formation of issue-specific altruistic preferences, while simultaneously involving a commitment. The hypothesis is tested in a large-scale field experiment on blood donations. We find that this "active-decision" intervention substantially increases the actual donation behavior of people who had not fully formed preferences beforehand.

Keywords: active decision, pro-social behavior, field experiment, blood donation

JEL Classification: C93, D64, I18

Suggested Citation

Stutzer, Alois and Goette, Lorenz F. and Zehnder, Michael, Active Decisions and Pro-Social Behavior (June 11, 2007). IZA Discussion Paper No. 2064; IEW Working Paper No. 279; FRB of Boston Working Paper No. 07-13. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=895098

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

Michael Zehnder

University of Zurich - Department of Economics ( email )

Zuerich, 8006
Switzerland

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