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Why without pay? Intrinsic motivation in the unpaid labour supply

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  • Bruno, Bruna
  • Fiorillo, Damiano

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruno, Bruna & Fiorillo, Damiano, 2012. "Why without pay? Intrinsic motivation in the unpaid labour supply," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 659-669.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:41:y:2012:i:5:p:659-669
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2012.05.020
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Fiorillo, Damiano & Nappo, Nunzia, 2014. "Volunteering and perceived health. A European cross-countries investigation," MPRA Paper 72313, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2016.
    3. Florence Neymotin, 2016. "Individuals and Communities: the Importance of Neighbors Volunteering," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 149-178, June.
    4. Bruno, Bruna, 2012. "Reconciling economics and psychology on intrinsic motivation," MPRA Paper 42717, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Bruno, Bruna & Fiorillo, Damiano, 2013. "Voluntary work and labour income," MPRA Paper 43995, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Bruna BRUNO & Damiano FIORILLO, 2016. "Voluntary Work And Wages," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(2), pages 175-202, December.

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