Discussion paper

DP13677 Blood Donations and Incentives: Evidence from a Field Experiment

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.


Goette, L and A Stutzer (2019), ‘DP13677 Blood Donations and Incentives: Evidence from a Field Experiment‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 13677. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp13677