Working for Nothing: The Supply of Volunteer Labor
AbstractVolunteer activity is work performed without monetary recompense. This paper shows that volunteering is a sizeable economic activity in the U.S.; that volunteers have high skills and opportunity costs of time; that standard labor supply explanations of volunteering account for only a minor part of volunteer behavior; and that many volunteer only when requested to do so. This suggests that volunteering is a 'conscience good or activity' -- something that people feel morally obligated to do when asked, but which they would just as soon let someone else do.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5435.
Date of creation: Jan 1996
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Journal of Labor Economics, Vol. 15, no. 1, part 2 (January 1997): S140-S166.
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Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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Other versions of this item:
- Freeman, Richard B, 1997. "Working for Nothing: The Supply of Volunteer Labor," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages S140-66, January.
- Freeman, Richard Barry, 1997. "Working for Nothing: The Supply of Volunteer Labor," Scholarly Articles 4632239, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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- Menchik, Paul L. & Weisbrod, Burton A., 1987. "Volunteer labor supply," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 159-183, March.
- Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
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