The determinants of purposeful voluntarism
Voluntarism is pervasive among humans, but what factors explain this particular nonmarket activity? Does it result from altruistic motives to help those less fortunate? Is it the result of rational or instinctive behavior that enhances individual and group survival? In this paper we draw upon the works of Adam Smith, Gary Becker, Herbert Simon, and evolutionary biologists Matt Ridley and Richard Dawkins to construct a formal model of interdependent utility functions. We test the implications of our model with data on volunteerism for U.S. states. Our findings support theories of volunteerism based on mutual aid among people with a common race and language and a relatively even distribution of income.
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Volume (Year): 38 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
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