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On the relational motive for volunteer work

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  • Prouteau, Lionel
  • Wolff, François-Charles

Abstract

While economists have mainly focused on investment or altruistic motives to explain why people undertake volunteer activities, we rely instead in this paper on the relational motive previously emphasized by social psychologists. Volunteering is seen as a way to build friendly relationships. Drawing on the French survey Vie Associative conducted by INSEE in 2002 on volunteer work and association membership, we shed light on the relevance of this relational motive using two samples of, respectively, 1578 volunteers and 2631 participants in associations. According to their own statements, many volunteers seek to make friends and to meet other people through these activities. Econometric results show that working as a volunteer in an association has a causal impact on the probability of making friends in that association, which also supports the relational motive.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

Volume (Year): 29 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 314-335

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Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:29:y:2008:i:3:p:314-335

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep

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References

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  1. Freeman, Richard B, 1997. "Working for Nothing: The Supply of Volunteer Labor," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages S140-66, January.
  2. Heckman, James J, 1978. "Dummy Endogenous Variables in a Simultaneous Equation System," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(4), pages 931-59, July.
  3. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-77, June.
  4. Benedetto Gui, 2000. "Beyond Transactions: On the Interpersonal Dimension of Economic Reality," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(2), pages 139-169, 06.
  5. Lionel Prouteau & François-Charles Wolff, 2004. "Donner son temps : les bénévoles dans la vie associative," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 372(1), pages 3-39.
  6. Duncan, Brian, 1999. "Modeling charitable contributions of time and money," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 213-242, May.
  7. Kathleen M. Day & Rose Anne Devlin, 1996. "Volunteerism and Crowding Out: Canadian Econometric Evidence," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(1), pages 37-53, February.
  8. Wilhelm, Mark Ottoni & Brown, Eleanor & Rooney, Patrick M. & Steinberg, Richard, 2008. "The intergenerational transmission of generosity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 2146-2156, October.
  9. Day, K.M. & Devlin, R.A., 1993. "The Payoff to Work without Pay: Volunteer Work as an Investment in Human Capital," Working Papers 9310e, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
  10. Clotfelter, Charles T., 1985. "Federal Tax Policy and Charitable Giving," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226110486.
  11. Lionel Prouteau & François-Charles Wolff, 2004. "Le travail bénévole : un essai de quantification et de valorisation," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 373(1), pages 33-56.
  12. Prouteau, Lionel & Wolff, Francois-Charles, 2006. "Does volunteer work pay off in the labor market?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 992-1013, December.
  13. Unger, Lynette S., 1991. "Altruism as a motivation to volunteer," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 71-100, March.
  14. Charles T. Clotfelter, 1985. "Federal Tax Policy and Charitable Giving," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number clot85-1, May.
  15. Edward L. Glaeser & David Laibson & Bruce Sacerdote, 2002. "An Economic Approach to Social Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 437-458, November.
  16. E.K. Berndt & B.H. Hall & R.E. Hall, 1974. "Estimation and Inference in Nonlinear Structural Models," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 3, number 4, pages 103-116 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Lionel Prouteau & François-Charles Wolff, 2004. "Relational Goods and Associational Participation," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 75(3), pages 431-463, 09.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Marisa R. Ferreira & Teresa Proença & João F. Proença, 2011. "An Empirical Analysis about Motivations among Hospital Volunteers," FEP Working Papers 418, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  2. Binder, Martin & Freytag, Andreas, 2013. "Volunteering, subjective well-being and public policy," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 97-119.
  3. Bruna Bruno & Damiano Fiorillo, 2011. "Why without pay? Intrinsic motivation in unpaid labour supply," Discussion Papers 3_2011, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
  4. Damiano Fiorillo, 2009. "Do monetary rewards crowd out intrinsic motivations of volunteers? Some empirical evidence for Italian volunteers," Discussion Papers 3_2009, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
  5. Damiano Fiorillo, 2010. "Volunteer work and domain satisfactions: Evidence from Italy," Discussion Papers 6_2010, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
  6. Anke Plagnol & Felicia Huppert, 2010. "Happy to Help? Exploring the Factors Associated with Variations in Rates of Volunteering Across Europe," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 97(2), pages 157-176, June.
  7. Luca Stanca, 2008. "With or Without You? Measuring the Quality of Relational Life Throughout the World," Working Papers 144, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2008.
  8. Bruno, Bruna & Fiorillo, Damiano, 2012. "Why without pay? Intrinsic motivation in the unpaid labour supply," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 659-669.

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