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Why without pay? Intrinsic motivation in the unpaid labour supply

  • Bruno, Bruna
  • Fiorillo, Damiano

Economic theory explains the supply of volunteering alternatively as an ordinary consumer good or an investment good. This paper provides a simultaneous approach, considering both objectives, by using the psychological distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, in order to reconcile conflicting results reported in the literature. Following the simultaneity approach, the paper develops a theoretical model of unpaid labour supply within an agent's two-period utility maximization problem, taking into account the role of psychological motivation. The theoretical hypotheses are tested with a sample selection model for Italy, by using the 1997 Multipurpose Households Survey on everyday life issues carried out by the Italian National Statistical Office. A robustness analysis and endogeneity test for intrinsic motivation are also performed. Empirical analysis rejects the hypothesis that only a consumption or investment motive can explain Italian volunteers’ behaviour, supporting the hypothesis that both motives interact in shaping regular unpaid labour supply, with a stronger impact of consumption motives. The relevant variables for frequently supplied unpaid labour are intrinsic motivation, age, household income, family responsibilities and activity sector.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 41 (2012)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 659-669

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:41:y:2012:i:5:p:659-669
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

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  1. Jeffrey Carpenter & Caitlin Knowles Myers, 2010. "Why Volunteer? Evidence on the Role of Altruism, Image, and Incentives," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 1023, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
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  3. Lorenzo Cappellari & Paolo Ghinetti & Gilberto Turati, 2007. "On Time and Money Donations," CESifo Working Paper Series 2140, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Kathleen M. Day & Rose Anne Devlin, 1996. "Volunteerism and Crowding Out: Canadian Econometric Evidence," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(1), pages 37-53, February.
  5. Apinunmahakul, Amornrat & Devlin, Rose Anne, 2008. "Social networks and private philanthropy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 309-328, February.
  6. Freeman, Richard Barry, 1997. "Working for Nothing: The Supply of Volunteer Labor," Scholarly Articles 4632239, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. 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.
  8. Prouteau, Lionel & Wolff, François-Charles, 2008. "On the relational motive for volunteer work," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 314-335, June.
  9. Lorenzo Cappellari & Gilberto Turati, 2004. "Volunteer Labour Supply: the role of workers' motivations," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 75(4), pages 619-643, December.
  10. van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M., 2008. "Environmental regulation of households: An empirical review of economic and psychological factors," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(4), pages 559-574, July.
  11. Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Myers, Caitlin Knowles, 2007. "Why Volunteer? Evidence on the Role of Altruism, Reputation, and Incentives," IZA Discussion Papers 3021, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Prouteau, Lionel & Wolff, Francois-Charles, 2006. "Does volunteer work pay off in the labor market?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 992-1013, December.
  13. Franz Hackl & Martin Halla & Gerald J. Pruckner, 2007. "Volunteering and Income - The Fallacy of the Good Samaritan?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 77-104, 02.
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  16. 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.
  17. Stephan Meier & Alois Stutzer, 2008. "Is Volunteering Rewarding in Itself?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(297), pages 39-59, 02.
  18. Francois Vaillancourt, 1994. "To Volunteer or Not: Canada, 1987," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(4), pages 813-26, November.
  19. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, 2002. "Why Social Preferences Matter -- The Impact of Non-Selfish Motives on Competition, Cooperation and Incentives," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages C1-C33, March.
  20. Damiano Fiorillo, 2009. "Volunteer Labour Supply: Micro-econometric Evidence from Italy," AIEL Series in Labour Economics, in: Marco Musella & Sergio Destefanis (ed.), Paid and Unpaid Labour in the Social Economy. An International Perspective, edition 1, chapter 10, pages 165-181 AIEL - Associazione Italiana Economisti del Lavoro.
  21. Menchik, Paul L. & Weisbrod, Burton A., 1987. "Volunteer labor supply," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 159-183, March.
  22. Schram, Vicki R & Dunsing, Marilyn M, 1981. " Influences on Married Women's Volunteer Work Participation," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(4), pages 372-79, March.
  23. Damiano Fiorillo, 2009. "Do monetary rewards crowd out intrinsic motivations of volunteers? Some empirical evidence for Italian volunteers," Discussion Papers 3_2009, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
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