Motivations to volunteer and social capital: the role of intrinsic motivations in promoting networks of cooperative relations
AbstractAlthough intrinsic motivations receive increasing attention in explaining human actions, our knowledge on their causes and effects is incomplete. Quite surprisingly, the existing literature fails to consider the relationship between intrinsic motivations and social capital formation. The present paper increases understanding on the effect of intrinsic motivations by studying the role that different motivations to volunteer have on the creation of volunteers’ social capital which is intended as networks of cooperative relations. Our empirical analysis considers three indices of social capital, aimed at measuring both the quantitative (number) and the qualitative (degree of familiarity and cooperation) character of social relations, and intrinsic and extrinsic motivations to volunteer (ideal motivations, the desire to feel useful to others, the pursuit of social recognition and the desire to increase the number of acquaintances or friends). We find that the creation of social capital through participation in voluntary associations is not indifferent to the motivations which induced the volunteer to start his/her unpaid activity. In particular, we show that intrinsic motivations enable people to extend their social networks by creating relations characterized by a significant degree of familiarity. By contrast, extrinsic motivations, and in particular the decision to join an association in order to increase the number of acquaintances or friends, promote the creation of networks from a quantitative point of view, but they do not facilitate the creation of relations based on a particular degree of confidence.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Econometica in its series Econometica Working Papers with number wp06.
Date of creation: Jan 2009
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Intrinsic Motivations; Social Capital; Volunteer Work; Social Networks;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
- D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
- L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-02-07 (All new papers)
- NEP-HAP-2009-02-07 (Economics of Happiness)
- NEP-NET-2009-02-07 (Network Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2009-02-07 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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.:
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