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Donating Time to Charity: Not Working for Nothing

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  • Aoki, Yu

    ()
    (University of Aberdeen)

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    Abstract

    This paper explores the causal effect of volunteer work providing daily assistance to the elderly on elderly mortality. To identify the causal effect, I exploit the earthquake that occurred in midwestern Japan in 1995 as a natural experiment inducing exogenous variation in the level of volunteering. The municipalities hit by the earthquake experienced a sharp increase in the level of volunteering. Based on a comparison of mortality between the municipalities with no or little loss of life due to the earthquake, that experienced the sharp increase in the level of volunteering, and the nearby municipalities that were not hit by the earthquake, I find that volunteering significantly reduced elderly mortality. Close attention is paid to ensure that the results are not driven by the direct effects of the earthquake.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7990.

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    Length: 40 pages
    Date of creation: Feb 2014
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7990

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    Keywords: volunteer labor; charity; mortality;

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    References

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    1. Benabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2005. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 1695, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Duncan, Brian, 1999. "Modeling charitable contributions of time and money," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 213-242, May.
    3. Seema Jayachandran & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2009. "Life Expectancy and Human Capital Investments: Evidence from Maternal Mortality Declines-super-," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(1), pages 349-397, February.
    4. Richard B. Freeman, 1996. "Working for Nothing: The Supply of Volunteer Labor," NBER Working Papers 5435, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. John List & David Lucking-Reiley, 2002. "The effects of seed money and refunds on charitable giving: Experimental evidence from a university capital campaign," Natural Field Experiments 00301, The Field Experiments Website.
    6. Grossman, Zachary, 2010. "Self-Signaling Versus Social-Signaling in Giving," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt7320x2cp, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
    7. Craig E. Landry & Andreas Lange & John A. List & Michael K. Price & Nicholas G. Rupp, 2006. "Toward an Understanding of the Economics of Charity: Evidence from a Field Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 747-782, May.
    8. Marieke Van Willigen, 2000. "Differential Benefits of Volunteering Across the Life Course," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 55(5), pages S308-S318.
    9. Vesterlund, Lise, 2003. "The informational value of sequential fundraising," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 627-657, March.
    10. Menchik, Paul L. & Weisbrod, Burton A., 1987. "Volunteer labor supply," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 159-183, March.
    11. Musick, Marc A. & Wilson, John, 2003. "Volunteering and depression: the role of psychological and social resources in different age groups," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 259-269, January.
    12. 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.
    13. Jen Shang & Rachel Croson, 2009. "A Field Experiment in Charitable Contribution: The Impact of Social Information on the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(540), pages 1422-1439, October.
    14. Stock, James H & Wright, Jonathan H & Yogo, Motohiro, 2002. "A Survey of Weak Instruments and Weak Identification in Generalized Method of Moments," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(4), pages 518-29, October.
    15. Christina M. Fong & Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2009. "What Determines Giving to Hurricane Katrina Victims? Experimental Evidence on Racial Group Loyalty," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 64-87, April.
    16. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
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