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Putting public policy defaults to the test: the case of organ donor registration

Putting public policy defaults to the test: the case of organ donor registration
Putting public policy defaults to the test: the case of organ donor registration
There is growing interest within public management in using governance tools to influence citizens’ behavior, including changing “choice architecture” by manipulating defaults. This article reports a survey experiment with 4,005 British adults which examined the impact of different defaults on people's propensity to visit, and register on, the organ donor register. There were significant effects of the different defaults on visits to the registration page but not on actual registrations. A default where people were automatically assumed to be donors but could opt out, and a neutral default where people had to answer either “yes” or “no,” both yielded significantly more organ donor register visits than a default where people were not assumed to be donors but could opt in. Attitudinal data collected suggested a preference for a neutral default. The results indicate that changing to a neutral default for organ donation would be socially acceptable and could potentially generate more donors.
1096-7494
246-264
Moseley, Alice
0da467e1-d68e-4d9a-b20e-5b2ca73fc6b2
Stoker, Gerry
209ba619-6a65-4bc1-9235-cba0d826bfd9
Moseley, Alice
0da467e1-d68e-4d9a-b20e-5b2ca73fc6b2
Stoker, Gerry
209ba619-6a65-4bc1-9235-cba0d826bfd9

Moseley, Alice and Stoker, Gerry (2015) Putting public policy defaults to the test: the case of organ donor registration. International Public Management Journal, 18 (2), 246-264. (doi:10.1080/10967494.2015.1012574).

Record type: Article

Abstract

There is growing interest within public management in using governance tools to influence citizens’ behavior, including changing “choice architecture” by manipulating defaults. This article reports a survey experiment with 4,005 British adults which examined the impact of different defaults on people's propensity to visit, and register on, the organ donor register. There were significant effects of the different defaults on visits to the registration page but not on actual registrations. A default where people were automatically assumed to be donors but could opt out, and a neutral default where people had to answer either “yes” or “no,” both yielded significantly more organ donor register visits than a default where people were not assumed to be donors but could opt in. Attitudinal data collected suggested a preference for a neutral default. The results indicate that changing to a neutral default for organ donation would be socially acceptable and could potentially generate more donors.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 16 March 2015
Published date: 2015
Organisations: Social Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 390463
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/390463
ISSN: 1096-7494
PURE UUID: 76ee3e13-3911-409e-8f16-7d11f5e585cb

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Date deposited: 04 Apr 2016 08:32
Last modified: 09 Nov 2021 04:12

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Contributors

Author: Alice Moseley
Author: Gerry Stoker

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