Redesigning the market for volunteers: A donor registry

Heger, Stephanie A., Slonim, Robert, Garbarino, Ellen, Wang, Carmen and Waller, Daniel (2020) Redesigning the market for volunteers: A donor registry. Management Science, 66 (8). pp. 3528-3541. ISSN 0025-1909

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This paper addresses volunteer labor markets where the lack of price signals, nonpecuniary motivations to supply labor, and limited fungibility of supply lead to market failure. To address the causes of the market failure, we conduct a field experiment with volunteer whole blood donors where we introduce a market-clearing mechanism (henceforth: the Registry). Our intention-to-treat estimates suggest that subjects invited to the Registry, regardless of joining, are 66% more responsive to critical shortage appeals than control subjects. While the Registry increases supply during a critical shortage episode, it does not increase supply when there is no shortage; thus, the Registry significantly improves coordination between volunteer donors and collection centers, thereby improving market outcomes. We find evidence that the Registry’s effectiveness stems from crowding-in volunteers with purely altruistic motives and volunteers with a preference for commitment.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: altruism,ask avoidance,commitment,coordination,market design,market failure,voluntary labor,strategy and management,management science and operations research ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1400/1408
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Economics
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Behavioural Economics
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2021 00:44
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2022 07:41
DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.2019.3371

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