Is Volunteering Rewarding in Itself?
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Columbia Business School - Management
University of Basel - Department of Business and Economics; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
IZA Discussion Paper No. 1045; Zurich IEER Working Paper No. 180
Volunteering constitutes one of the most important pro-social activities. Following Adam Smith, helping others is the way to higher individual well-being. This view contrasts with the selfish utility maximizer who avoids costs from helping others. The two rival views are studied empirically. We find robust evidence that volunteers are more satisfied with their life than non-volunteers. Causality is addressed taking advantage of a natural experiment: the collapse of East Germany and its infrastructure of volunteering. People who accidentally lost their opportunities for volunteering are compared to people who experienced no change in their volunteer status.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 34
Keywords: happiness, pro-social behavior, subjective well-being, volunteering
JEL Classification: D64, I31, J22, Z13working papers series
Date posted: March 25, 2004
© 2013 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
This page was processed by apollo8 in 0.375 seconds