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How can policy interventions encourage pro-social behaviours in the health system?

Costa-font, Joan ORCID: 0000-0001-7174-7919 and Machado, Sara ORCID: 0000-0002-9287-8165 (2021) How can policy interventions encourage pro-social behaviours in the health system? LSE Public Policy Review, 1 (3). ISSN 2633-4046

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Identification Number: 10.31389/lseppr.17


Pro-social behaviours in the health system range from voluntary (unpaid) time donations supporting health and social care services, to monetary donations funding medical research, to biological material donations such as blood transfusions and organ transplants, among other types of donation. Without these pro-social behaviours, health systems would face chronic shortages and operational challenges. Hence, an important question for policy design is how we stimulate such pro-social behaviours? We argue that although prosocial behaviours are motivated by altruism and ‘benevolent rewards’, governments can indeed encourage them by designing ‘compatible incentives’, by removing ‘disruptive constraints’, or through a combination of both. We illustrate our argument with examples of several pro-social behaviours, including the donation of human tissues, fluids and organs; monetary donations to health-related causes; as well as volunteering in health-related settings (the donation of time). We further address how these interventions interact with health care donors’ behavioural attitudes, including altruism and empathy.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Health Policy
LSE Health
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2021 15:24
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 03:19

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