Un travail qui ne compte pas ? La valorisation monétaire du bénévolat associatif
Volunteering is considered first as a gift of time but the world of the gift does not generally fit into the framework of the economic calculation. Yet, volunteer work represents an important productive resource which is taken into account by voluntary associations and nonprofit institutions. This paper intends to estimate its money value. First, the difficulties raised by such an exercise are examined. They result from the lack of regularity and from the heterogeneity of surveys on volunteering. These difficulties also originate in the conceivable methods for attributing a money value to activities which, by nature, are extraneous to this type of measurement. These difficulties are not insurmountable provided statisticians agree about shared conventions. Secondly, the paper gives a money value to French association volunteering, drawing on an association survey carried out by a research team from the Sorbonne Economics Centre. Results show that voluntary work accounts for from 1 % to 2 % of GDP according to the method chosen for this exercise of valuation. This amount represents about from 50% to 80% of the wages paid to the employees of associations and, in any case, it greatly outweighs the donations of money.
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