A bad economy should increase blood donation. As more individuals lose their job, they now have more free time to donate blood. The opportunity cost of their time is lower, since they don’t have to miss work to donate blood. A bad economy also creates more sympathy for those in need; thus, donor morale may increase.
Alas, Marketplace reveals that a bad economy in fact decreases blood donations:
“The Red Cross says it’s feeling a new side effect from the recession. All those job losses mean fewer people available to donate at corporate blood drives. It says up to 80 percent of donated blood comes from companies hosting those drives.“