The determinants of purposeful voluntarism
AbstractVoluntarism is pervasive among humans, but what factors explain this particular nonmarket activity? Does it result from altruistic motives to help those less fortunate? Is it the result of rational or instinctive behavior that enhances individual and group survival? In this paper we draw upon the works of Adam Smith, Gary Becker, Herbert Simon, and evolutionary biologists Matt Ridley and Richard Dawkins to construct a formal model of interdependent utility functions. We test the implications of our model with data on volunteerism for U.S. states. Our findings support theories of volunteerism based on mutual aid among people with a common race and language and a relatively even distribution of income.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).
Volume (Year): 38 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175
Volunteerism Social capital Homogeneity;
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Rupasingha, Anil & Goetz, Stephan J. & Freshwater, David, 2006. "The production of social capital in US counties," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 83-101, February.
- Becker, Gary S, 1981. "Altruism in the Family and Selfishness in the Market Place," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 48(189), pages 1-15, February.
- Becker, Gary S, 1976. "Altruism, Egoism, and Genetic Fitness: Economics and Sociobiology," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 817-26, September.
- Joel Sobel, 2002. "Can We Trust Social Capital?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 139-154, March.
- Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997.
"Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
- Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
- Simon, Herbert A, 1993.
"Altruism and Economics,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 156-61, May.
- Ziemek, Susanne, 2006. "Economic analysis of volunteers' motivations--A cross-country study," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 532-555, June.
- Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
- Jody Lipford & Bruce Yandle, 1997. "Exploring the Production of Social Order," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 37-55, March.
- Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999.
"Public Goods And Ethnic Divisions,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284, November.
- Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William & Alesina, Alberto, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," Scholarly Articles 4551797, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 1999. "Public goods and ethnic divisions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2108, The World Bank.
- Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1997. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," NBER Working Papers 6009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
- Mark Gradstein & Moshe Justman, 2002.
"Education, Social Cohesion, and Economic Growth,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1192-1204, September.
- Susan Rose-Ackerman, 1996. "Altruism, Nonprofits, and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 701-728, June.
- Arthur C. Brooks, 2005. "Does Social Capital Make You Generous?," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 86(1), pages 1-15.
- Barnett, Andy & Yandle, Bruce & Naufal, George S, 2013.
"Regulation, Trust, and Cronyism in Middle Eastern Societies: The Simple Economics of 'Wasta',"
IZA Discussion Papers
7201, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Barnett, Andy & Yandle, Bruce & Naufal, George, 2013. "Regulation, trust, and cronyism in Middle Eastern societies: The simple economics of “wasta”," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 41-46.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.