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The Effects of Volunteering for Non-profit Organizations on Social Capital Formation: Evidence from a Statewide Survey

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  • Jane Kolodinsky

    ()

  • Garret Kimberly

    ()

  • Jonathan Isham

    ()

Abstract

We use the household production framework to theoretically connect sociability and purposive incentives for volunteering and two forms of social capital: social connections and civic capacity. Then, using a unique statewide data set, we estimate the determinants of (a) the probability of receiving social capital benefits and (b) the level of such benefits. We show that: religious and social service organizations have a large impact on social capital formation; the probability of being socially and civically engaged increases with volunteering; and two-adult families are more likely to feel socially and civically engaged. These results are consistent with recent aggregate evidence on the decline of social capital in the United States: social capital formation declines with less religious and altruistic orientation at the community level, and as families move away from a two-adult family structure. By contrast, through volunteering, one can increase the likelihood of being socially and civically engaged.

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File URL: http://www.middlebury.edu/services/econ/repec/mdl/ancoec/0305.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Middlebury College, Department of Economics in its series Middlebury College Working Paper Series with number 0305.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mdl:mdlpap:0305

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Keywords: household production; civic engagement; social capital;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Lin, Tsai-Fen & Schmidt, Peter, 1984. "A Test of the Tobit Specification against an Alternative Suggested by Cragg," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(1), pages 174-77, February.
  3. Knack, Stephen, 2000. "Social capital and the quality of Government : evidence from the U.S. States," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2504, The World Bank.
  4. Cragg, John G, 1971. "Some Statistical Models for Limited Dependent Variables with Application to the Demand for Durable Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(5), pages 829-44, September.
  5. O. Hawrylyshyn, 1978. "The economic nature and value of volunteer activity in Canada," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 1-71, March.
  6. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-93, Nov.-Dec..
  7. Gilbert Ghez & Gary S. Becker, 1975. "The Allocation of Time and Goods over the Life Cycle," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number ghez75-1, octubre-d.
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Cited by:
  1. Bartolini, Stefano & Bonatti, Luigi, 2007. "Endogenous growth, decline in social capital and expansion of market activities," MPRA Paper 3341, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Stefano Bartolini & Luigi Bonatti, 2006. "How Can the Decline in Social Capital be Reconciled with a Satisfactory Growth Performance?," Department of Economics University of Siena 477, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  3. Bartolini, Stefano & Bonatti, Luigi, 2008. "Endogenous growth, decline in social capital and expansion of market activities," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(3-4), pages 917-926, September.
  4. Bartolini, Stefano & Bonatti, Luigi, 2008. "The role of social capital in enhancing factor productivity: Does its erosion depress per capita GDP?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1539-1553, August.

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