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Preference variation in volunteering decisions: public goods and private benefits


  • Bert WEEMAES


We use data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) to explain the amount of time invested in volunteering in eight European countries. Direct information on motivations adds to the explanation over and above the effect of socio-demographic variables. The results for specific motivations are in line with the predictions from rational choice theory. While larger levels of ‘warm glow’ and ‘instrumental’ motivations lead to more frequent volunteering, the influence of the ‘public good’ motivation on volunteering frequency is found to be negligible.

Suggested Citation

  • Bert WEEMAES & Erik SCHOKKAERT, 2009. "Preference variation in volunteering decisions: public goods and private benefits," Working Papers of Department of Economics, Leuven ces09.09, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB), Department of Economics, Leuven.
  • Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces09.09

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    Volunteering; Motivations; Warm glow; Public good.;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship

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