Does Pay Motivate Volunteers?
AbstractVolunteer work is an increasingly large, yet ill-understood sector of the economy. We show that monetary rewards undermine the intrinsic motivation of volunteers. A unique data set from Switzerland allows us to assess the effects of financial rewards on the effort put into volunteer work. There is a fairly standard pattern regarding the volunteers reaction e.g. to more labor market work hours. But we obtain the puzzling result that, when rewarded, volunteers work less. These findings are in line with a large literature in social psychology emphasizing that external rewards can undermine the intrinsic motivation for an activity. We show the implications for public policy towards volunteering.
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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 007.
Date of creation:
Date of revision:
Volunteer Work; Crowding-Out; Intrinsic Motivation; Price Incentives.;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
- D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
- J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2000-05-08 (All new papers)
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.:
- Richard B. Freeman, 1996.
"Working for Nothing: The Supply of Volunteer Labor,"
NBER Working Papers
5435, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Freeman, Richard B, 1997. "Working for Nothing: The Supply of Volunteer Labor," Journal of Labor Economics, 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.
- Frey, Bruno S, 1992. "Tertium Datur: Pricing, Regulating and Intrinsic Motivation," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 161-84.
- Menchik, Paul L. & Weisbrod, Burton A., 1987. "Volunteer labor supply," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 159-183, March.
- Frey, Bruno S, 1997. "A Constitution for Knaves Crowds Out Civic Virtues," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1043-53, July.
- Brown, Eleanor & Lankford, Hamilton, 1992. "Gifts of money and gifts of time estimating the effects of tax prices and available time," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 321-341, April.
- Bruno, B., 2010. "Rewarding my Self. The role of Self Esteem and Self Determination in Motivation Crowding Theory," MPRA Paper 23117, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Ariely, Dan & Bracha, Anat & Meier, Stephan, 2007.
"Doing Good or Doing Well? Image Motivation and Monetary Incentives in Behaving Prosocially,"
IZA Discussion Papers
2968, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Dan Ariely & Anat Bracha & Stephan Meier, 2009. "Doing Good or Doing Well? Image Motivation and Monetary Incentives in Behaving Prosocially," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 544-55, March.
- Dan Ariely & Anat Bracha & Stephan Meier, 2007. "Doing good or doing well? Image motivation and monetary incentives in behaving prosocially," Working Papers 07-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
- Franz Hackl & Martin Halla & Gerald J. Pruckner, 2007.
"Volunteering and Income - The Fallacy of the Good Samaritan?,"
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 77-104, 02.
- Franz Hackl & Martin Halla & Gerald J Pruckner, 2004. "The fallacy of the Good Samaritan: Volunteering as a weird way of making money," Economics working papers 2004-15, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
- Schenk-Hoppe, Klaus Reiner & Schmalfu[ss], Bjorn, 2001.
"Random fixed points in a stochastic Solow growth model,"
Journal of Mathematical Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 19-30, September.
- Klaus Reiner Schenk-Hoppé & Björn Schmalfuss, . "Random Fixed Points in a Stochastic Solow Growth Model," IEW - Working Papers 065, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Jens-Ulrich Peter & Klaus Reiner Schenk-Hoppé, . "Business Cycle Phenomena in Overlapping Generations Economies with Stochastic Production," IEW - Working Papers 030, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Uri Gneezy, 2003. "The W effect of incentives," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000315, UCLA Department of Economics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marita Kieser).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.