More Than Incentives: Motivating Blood and Cord Blood Donations
Blood and cord blood markets rely on volunteer suppliers. Several incentive schemes have tried to increase donations. However, that is not enough to solve the coordination and lack of commitment problems in these markets. In the papers in this session, we provide three mechanisms that effectively reduce these problems: reducing time and information cost, and a registry for donors. The first paper is "Giving life and saving lives: A field experiment on motivating umbilical cord blood donation", by Mario Macis, Johns Hopkins University (with Daniela Grieco and Nicola Lacetera, respectively at Bocconi University and University of Toronto). The study reports the findings from a field experiment that reduced the information cost and allowed for soft commitments of cord blood donors. The intervention significantly increased donations rates from 3.4% (control) to 9-15% (treatments). The second paper, "Don't Stop Me Now: the Impact of Waiting to Donate Blood", by Sara Machado, at Boston University studies the effect of the time cost of blood donation. In a large scale study, the author shows that new donors with longer waiting times are less likely to commit to becoming regular blood donors. The third paper "Redesigning markets for blood donations", by Carmen Wang, at Harvard University (with Ellen Garbarino, Stephanie A. Heger, and Robert Slonim, at University of Sydney), reports lab and field experiment findings regarding the design of a registry for blood donors, combining aggregate demand and donors' supply. The proposed registry design improves donor response during both mild and critical blood shortages.