NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Guodong (Gordon) Gao

4325 Van Munching Hall
University of Maryland
College Park, MD, 20742

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Institutional Affiliation: University of Maryland, College Park

NBER Working Papers and Publications

November 2015Mobile Messaging for Offline Group Formation in Prosocial Activities: A Large Field Experiment
with Tianshu Sun, Ginger Zhe Jin: w21704
In this paper, we use mobile messaging to leverage recipients’ social ties and encourage offline prosocial activities in groups. In particular, we conduct a randomized field experiment with 80,000 blood donors and study how behavioral interventions and economic rewards motivate offline group formation. We find that two commonly used interventions—reminder messages and individual reward—are ineffective in motivating group formation because they do not compensate donors for the cost of bringing friends. In contrast, we find that group reward—a new reward that is contingent on a donor bringing a friend—is effective in motivating group formation. Furthermore, group reward tends to attract different types of donors, especially those who are traditionally less active in online social settings bu...

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