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Volunteer Labour Supply: the role of workers' motivations

  • Lorenzo Cappellari
  • Gilberto Turati

In this paper we study the determinants of volunteering. We depart from previous literature that considers only economic incentives and investigate the role that extrinsic and intrinsic motivations play in shaping the supply of voluntary labour. We build on previous theoretical research and derive a framework for interpreting results from our econometric analysis. We consider a sample of Italian workers of which we can observe proxies of motivations and volunteering choices in three different sectors: social services, political activism and union activism. We make due allowance for the endogeneity of motivations and show that both types of motivations have an effect on volunteering. Consistently with theoretical models, we find extrinsic motivations to lower voluntary labour supply, whereas the opposite holds for intrinsic motivations. Copyright CIRIEC, 2004.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics.

Volume (Year): 75 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 619-643

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Handle: RePEc:bla:annpce:v:75:y:2004:i:4:p:619-643
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  1. repec:ner:ucllon:http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/17678/ is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Stark, Oded, 1993. "Nonmarket transfers and altruism," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 1413-1424, October.
  3. Roland BĂ©nabou & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 489-520.
  4. Susan Rose-Ackerman, 1996. "Altruism, Nonprofits, and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 701-728, June.
  5. Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 75-111, March.
  6. Schady, Norbert R., 2001. "Who participates : the supply of volunteer labor and the distribution of government programs in rural Peru," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2671, The World Bank.
  7. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 1-29, February.
  8. Frey, Bruno S., 1997. "On the relationship between intrinsic and extrinsic work motivation1," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 427-439, July.
  9. O'Higgins, Niall, 1994. "YTS, Employment, and Sample Selection Bias," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(4), pages 605-28, October.
  10. Frey, Bruno S, 1992. "Tertium Datur: Pricing, Regulating and Intrinsic Motivation," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 161-84.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Menchik, Paul L. & Weisbrod, Burton A., 1987. "Volunteer labor supply," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 159-183, March.
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