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Volunteering, subjective well-being and public policy

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  • Binder, Martin
  • Freytag, Andreas

Abstract

We apply matching estimators to the large-scale British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) data set to estimate the impact of volunteering on subjective well-being. We take into account personality traits that could jointly determine volunteering behaviour and subjective well-being. We find that the impact of regular volunteering on subjective well-being is positive and increasing over time if regular volunteering is sustained. In a quantile analysis, we find that this effect seems to be driven by reducing the unhappiness of the less happy quantiles of the well-being distribution for those who volunteer regularly. We test the robustness of our findings and discuss their relevance for public policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Binder, Martin & Freytag, Andreas, 2013. "Volunteering, subjective well-being and public policy," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 97-119.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:34:y:2013:i:c:p:97-119
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2012.11.008
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    Cited by:

    1. Yörük, Barış K., 2014. "Does giving to charity lead to better health? Evidence from tax subsidies for charitable giving," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 71-83.
    2. repec:spr:soinre:v:132:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1233-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Binder, Martin & Coad, Alex, 2013. "“I'm afraid I have bad news for you…” Estimating the impact of different health impairments on subjective well-being," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 155-167.
    4. Damiano Fiorillo & Nunzia Nappo, 2017. "Formal volunteering and self-perceived health. Causal evidence from the UK-SILC," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 75(2), pages 112-138, April.
    5. repec:eee:jeborg:v:137:y:2017:i:c:p:304-323 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Fiorillo, Damiano & Nappo, Nunzia, 2014. "Volunteering and perceived health. A European cross-countries investigation," MPRA Paper 72313, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2016.
    7. Cinzia Di Novi & Rowena Jacobs & Matteo Migheli, 2013. "The quality of life of female informal caregivers: from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean Sea," Working Papers 084cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
    8. Sibylle Puntscher & Janette Walde & Gottfried Tappeiner, 2016. "Do methodical traps lead to wrong development strategies for welfare? A multilevel approach considering heterogeneity across industrialized and developing countries," Working Papers 2016-01, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    9. Fiorillo, Damiano & Nappo, Nunzia, 2014. "Formal and informal volunteering and health across European countries," MPRA Paper 60210, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Gimenez-Nadal, J. Ignacio & Molina, José Alberto, 2015. "Voluntary Activities and Daily Happiness in the US," IZA Discussion Papers 8764, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. repec:spr:soinre:v:132:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-015-1126-z is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:rom:mancon:v:11:y:2017:i:1:p:349-358 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. repec:eee:soceco:v:68:y:2017:i:c:p:62-78 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Binder, Martin & Blankenberg, Ann-Kathrin, 2016. "Environmental concerns, volunteering and subjective well-being: Antecedents and outcomes of environmental activism in Germany," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 1-16.
    15. Martin Binder, 2015. "Do it with joy: Subjective well-being outcomes of working in non-profit organizations," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2015-03, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    16. Maurizio Pugno, 2015. "Capability and Happiness: A Suggested Integration From a Dynamic Perspective," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 16(6), pages 1383-1399, December.
    17. Martin Binder & Alex Coad, 2015. "Heterogeneity in the Relationship Between Unemployment and Subjective Wellbeing: A Quantile Approach," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 82(328), pages 865-891, October.
    18. Zotti, Roberto & Speziale, Nino & Barra, Cristian, 2014. "On the causal effect of religion on life satisfaction using a propensity score matching technique," MPRA Paper 60066, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Dayé, Modeste, 2014. "Volunteering at the extensive margins in Developing Countries: Extrinsic or Intrinsic Motives?," MPRA Paper 59202, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 10 Oct 2014.
    20. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:3:p:789-:d:135995 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Binder, Martin, 2016. "“…Do it with joy!” – Subjective well-being outcomes of working in non-profit organizations," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 64-84.
    22. repec:spr:jhappi:v:18:y:2017:i:6:d:10.1007_s10902-016-9794-1 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    2223; 3000; Volunteering; Subjective well-being; Personality; Public policy; BHPS;

    JEL classification:

    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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