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Does volunteer work pay off in the labor market ?


  • Lionel Prouteau

    () (LEMNA - Laboratoire d'économie et de management de Nantes Atlantique - UN - Université de Nantes)

  • Francois-Charles Wolff

    () (LEMNA - Laboratoire d'économie et de management de Nantes Atlantique - UN - Université de Nantes)


Focusing on the investment motive for volunteer work, this paper examines whether volunteer work has an economic payoff upon the labor market in France. Using a switching regression model with endogenous switching, we find that in the public sector volunteers receive a positive wage premium that exerts no significant impact on their involvement, while the premium is negative and insignificant in the private sector. We also find little evidence of the presence of alternative types of returns on the labor market, such as employment mobility or entry into the labor market. Our findings are more consistent with a consumption motive.

Suggested Citation

  • Lionel Prouteau & Francois-Charles Wolff, 2006. " Does volunteer work pay off in the labor market ? ," Post-Print hal-00973951, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00973951
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lionel Prouteau & François-Charles Wolff, 2004. "Relational Goods and Associational Participation," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 75(3), pages 431-463, September.
    2. Duncan, Brian, 1999. "Modeling charitable contributions of time and money," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 213-242, May.
    3. Paul S. Carlin, 2001. "Evidence on the Volunteer Labor Supply of Married Women," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 801-824, April.
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    6. Freeman, Richard B, 1997. "Working for Nothing: The Supply of Volunteer Labor," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 140-166, January.
    7. Kathleen Day & Rose Annue Devlin, 1998. "The Payoff to Work without Pay: Volunteer Work as an Investment in Human Capital," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(5), pages 1179-1191, November.
    8. Nicholas Bardsley, 2000. "Interpersonal Interaction and Economic Theory: The Case of Public Goods," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(2), pages 191-228, June.
    9. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1978. "Unionism and Wage Rates: A Simultaneous Equations Model with Qualitative and Limited Dependent Variables," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 19(2), pages 415-433, June.
    10. Benedetto Gui, 2000. "Beyond Transactions: On the Interpersonal Dimension of Economic Reality," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(2), pages 139-169, June.
    11. Lanfranchi, Joseph & Ohlsson, Henry & Skalli, Ali, 2002. "Compensating wage differentials and shift work preferences," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 393-398, February.
    12. Unger, Lynette S., 1991. "Altruism as a motivation to volunteer," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 71-100, March.
    13. Carole Uhlaner, 1989. "“Relational goods” and participation: Incorporating sociability into a theory of rational action," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 62(3), pages 253-285, September.
    14. Greene, William H, 1981. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error: Comment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(3), pages 795-798, May.
    15. Clotfelter, Charles T., 1985. "Federal Tax Policy and Charitable Giving," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226110486, March.
    16. Charles T. Clotfelter, 1985. "Federal Tax Policy and Charitable Giving," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number clot85-1, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Fiorillo, Damiano & Nappo, Nunzia, 2014. "Volunteering and perceived health. A European cross-countries investigation," MPRA Paper 72313, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2016.
    4. repec:crs:ecosta:es372a is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Fiorillo, Damiano & Nappo, Nunzia, 2014. "Formal and informal volunteering and health across European countries," MPRA Paper 60210, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Bruna, Bruno & Damiano, Fiorillo, 2009. "Why without Pay? The Intrinsic Motivation between Investment and Consumption in Unpaid Labour Supply," CELPE Discussion Papers 111, CELPE - Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy, University of Salerno, Italy.
    7. repec:eee:eecrev:v:98:y:2017:i:c:p:199-216 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Martin Lange & Friedhelm Pfeiffer & Gerard J. den Berg, 2017. "Integrating young male refugees: initial evidence from an inclusive soccer project," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 51(1), pages 1-10, December.
    9. Berg, Gerard van den & Kolb, Michael & Lange, Martin & Pfeiffer, Friedhelm, 2016. "Integrating refugees in the Rhine-Neckar-Region: Initial evidence from an inclusive soccer project," ZEW Expertises, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research, number 149872.
    10. 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.
    11. Bruno, Bruna & Fiorillo, Damiano, 2013. "Voluntary work and labour income," MPRA Paper 43995, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Bruna BRUNO & Damiano FIORILLO, 2016. "Voluntary Work And Wages," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(2), pages 175-202, December.
    13. 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.
    14. Damiano Fiorillo, 2011. "Volunteer work and domain satisfactions: evidence from Italy," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 39(1/2), pages 97-124, December.
    15. Van Belle, Eva & Caers, Ralf & De Couck, Marijke & Di Stasio, Valentina & Baert, Stijn, 2018. "The Signal of Applying for a Job Under a Vacancy Referral Scheme," GLO Discussion Paper Series 173, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    16. Bruna Bruno & Damiano Fiorillo, 2011. "Why without pay? Intrinsic motivation in unpaid labour supply," Discussion Papers 3_2011, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.


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