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The Effect of Work Schedule Control on Volunteering among Early Career Employees


  • Mantovan, Noemi

    (Bangor University)

  • Sauer, Robert M.

    (Royal Holloway, University of London)

  • Wilson, John

    (Duke University)


Recent trends in the labor market see increasing numbers of workers having to deal with "schedule precarity" including volatile hours, rotating shift work, unpredictable work hours and lack of choice on the part of the employee. These trends are of concern to those interested in fostering levels of civic engagement because they potentially limit volunteering. This study uses data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97) containing information on work schedules in 2011 and 2013 among employees to determine the effect of changes in work schedules on becoming a volunteer using transition regressions. We investigate interactions between work schedule measures and pay structure because workers paid by the hour have lower volunteer rates than salaried workers. The study finds that, while three of the schedule dimensions are unrelated to volunteering, transitioning towards more schedule control has a positive effect on volunteering. However, interaction analysis shows this positive effect is confined to salaried workers whereas for hourly paid workers the effect is negative. The results support the idea that having more freedom to set one's work schedule reduces work-life conflict but suggest that this positive effect is limited to those who can take advantage of it.

Suggested Citation

  • Mantovan, Noemi & Sauer, Robert M. & Wilson, John, 2021. "The Effect of Work Schedule Control on Volunteering among Early Career Employees," IZA Discussion Papers 14723, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp14723

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tony Beatton & Benno Torgler, 2018. "Volunteering and life or financial shocks: does income and wealth matter?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(19), pages 2190-2209, April.
    2. Elaine McCrate, 2012. "Flexibility for Whom? Control over Work Schedule Variability in the US," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 39-72, January.
    3. Charlotte Alexander & Anna Haley-Lock, 2015. "Underwork, Work-Hour Insecurity, and A New Approach to Wage and Hour Regulation," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 695-716, October.
    4. 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.
    5. Alexandre Mas & Amanda Pallais, 2020. "Alternative Work Arrangements," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 12(1), pages 631-658, August.
    6. Daniela Lup & Jonathan E. Booth, 2019. "Work and Volunteering: Longitudinal Relationships between Work‐Related Experiences and Volunteering Behaviour," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 57(3), pages 599-623, September.
    7. Pfeffer, Jeffrey & DeVoe, Sanford E., 2009. "Economic evaluation: The effect of money and economics on attitudes about volunteering," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 500-508, June.
    8. Tay K. McNamara & Ernest Gonzales, 2011. "Volunteer Transitions Among Older Adults: The Role of Human, Social, and Cultural Capital in Later Life," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 66(4), pages 490-501.
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniela Lup, 2022. "What makes an active citizen? A test of multiple links between workplace experiences and civic participation," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 60(3), pages 563-584, September.

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    More about this item


    work-schedules; precarious employment; volunteer work; pay structure;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General

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