The impact of COVID-19 represents a specific challenge for voluntary transfusional systems sustained by the intrinsic motivations of blood donors. In general, health emergencies can stimulate altruistic behaviors. However, in this context, the same prosocial motivations, besides the personal health risks, could foster the adherence to social distancing rules to preserve collective health and, therefore, discourage blood donation activities. In this work, we investigate the consequences of the pandemic shock on the dynamics of new donors exploiting the individual-level longitudinal information contained in administrative data on the Italian region of Tuscany. We compare the change in new donors’ recruitment and retention during 2020 with respect to the 2017-2019 period (we observe 9511 individuals), considering donors’ and their municipalities of residence characteristics. Our results show an increment of new donors, with higher proportional growth for older donors. Moreover, we demonstrate that the quality of new donors, as proxied by the frequency of subsequent donations, increased with respect to previous years. Finally, we show that changes in extrinsic motivations, such as the possibility of obtaining a free antibody test or overcoming movement restrictions, cannot explain the documented increase in the number of new donors and in their performance. Therefore, our analyses indicate that the Tuscan voluntary blood donation system was effective in dealing with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prosocial behavior in emergencies: Evidence from blood donors recruitment and retention during the COVID-19 pandemic

Bilancini, Ennio;Di Paolo, Roberto;Menicagli, Dario;Pizziol, Veronica;Ricciardi, Emiliano;Serti, Francesco
2022-01-01

Abstract

The impact of COVID-19 represents a specific challenge for voluntary transfusional systems sustained by the intrinsic motivations of blood donors. In general, health emergencies can stimulate altruistic behaviors. However, in this context, the same prosocial motivations, besides the personal health risks, could foster the adherence to social distancing rules to preserve collective health and, therefore, discourage blood donation activities. In this work, we investigate the consequences of the pandemic shock on the dynamics of new donors exploiting the individual-level longitudinal information contained in administrative data on the Italian region of Tuscany. We compare the change in new donors’ recruitment and retention during 2020 with respect to the 2017-2019 period (we observe 9511 individuals), considering donors’ and their municipalities of residence characteristics. Our results show an increment of new donors, with higher proportional growth for older donors. Moreover, we demonstrate that the quality of new donors, as proxied by the frequency of subsequent donations, increased with respect to previous years. Finally, we show that changes in extrinsic motivations, such as the possibility of obtaining a free antibody test or overcoming movement restrictions, cannot explain the documented increase in the number of new donors and in their performance. Therefore, our analyses indicate that the Tuscan voluntary blood donation system was effective in dealing with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
2022
Charity, Prosocial behavior, Blood donation, Plasma donation, AVIS, Tuscany, COVID-19
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11771/21738
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