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Blood donation and the nature of altruism.

Wildman, John and Hollingsworth, Bruce (2009) Blood donation and the nature of altruism. Journal of Health Economics, 28 (2). pp. 492-503. ISSN 0167-6296

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Abstract

Approximately 10% of people have O-negative blood. Because it can be transfused into almost anyone, hospitals particularly value such blood. We use this fact, together with the assumption that blood types are exogenously assigned by nature, to design an empirical inquiry into altruism. We also investigate the timing of donations, especially focussing on the behaviour of new and established donors. We show that O-negative blood donors donate no more often than other people. Thus individuals apparently do not exhibit pure altruism. We speculate that instead blood donors may be driven by a broad notion of duty rather than by a far-sighted, rational unselfishness.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Health Economics
Uncontrolled Keywords: Blood donation ; Charity ; Public good ; Altruism ; Latent variable
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Departments:
ID Code: 55170
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 19 Jun 2012 09:35
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2014 15:00
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/55170

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