The Monetary‐Equivalent Effect of Voluntary Work on Mental Wellbeing in Europe

25 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2018

See all articles by Leonardo Becchetti

Leonardo Becchetti

University of Rome Tor Vergata - Faculty of Economics

Pierluigi Conzo

University of Turin - Department of Economics and Statistics; Collegio Carlo Alberto

Mirko Di Febbraro

Università degli Studi del Molise

Date Written: February 2018

Abstract

The hypothesis that active community involvement is beneficial for health finds strong support in the medical literature and in most policy guidelines for active ageing in OECD countries. We test it empirically and find that voluntary work has a significant impact on several measures of mental wellbeing. When accounting for fixed effects, panel attrition, endogeneity, and reverse causality, the positive effect of voluntary work remains robust. For the first time in the literature, we calculate the monetary equivalent of mental wellbeing benefits of voluntary work with the compensating variation approach, and estimate them up to a maximum of around 9,500 euros per indicator. Our results imply that policies fostering voluntary work of the elderly would contribute to active ageing and the wellbeing of the elderly and reduce welfare costs for society.

Suggested Citation

Becchetti, Leonardo and Conzo, Pierluigi and Di Febbraro, Mirko, The Monetary‐Equivalent Effect of Voluntary Work on Mental Wellbeing in Europe (February 2018). Kyklos, Vol. 71, Issue 1, pp. 3-27, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3100464 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/kykl.12160

Leonardo Becchetti (Contact Author)

University of Rome Tor Vergata - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Via Columbia, 2
I-00133 Rome
Italy

Pierluigi Conzo

University of Turin - Department of Economics and Statistics ( email )

Campus Luigi Einaudi
Lungo Dora Siena 100 A
Torino, Torino 10153
Italy
011/6703892 (Phone)
011/6703895 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.unito.it/unitoWAR/page/dipartimenti4/D031/D031_personale_batch_BasicBook_Docenti_IT7?id=4

Collegio Carlo Alberto ( email )

Piazza Arbarello, 8
Torino, 10122
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.carloalberto.org/people/faculty/affiliates/pierluigi-conzo/

Mirko Di Febbraro

Università degli Studi del Molise

Via De Sanctis
Campobasso, Campobasso (CB) 86100
Italy

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