DP13677 Blood Donations and Incentives: Evidence from a Field Experiment

Author(s): Lorenz Goette, Alois Stutzer
Publication Date: April 2019
Keyword(s): blood donations, field experiment, material incentives, motivation crowding effect, pro-social behavior
JEL(s): C93, D64, H41, I18
Programme Areas: Public Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=13677

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.