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Active decisions and pro-social behavior

Lorenz Goette, Alois Stutzer and Michael Zehnder

No 07-13, Working Papers from Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

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: Human behavior; Altruism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2007
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-evo, nep-exp, nep-hap and nep-soc
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