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Does It Pay for Women to Volunteer?

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  • Sauer, Robert M.

    () (Royal Holloway, University of London)

Abstract

This paper estimates the economic and non-economic returns to volunteering for prime-aged women. A woman's decision to engage in unpaid work, and to marry and have children, is formulated as a forward-looking discrete choice dynamic programming problem. Simulated maximum likelihood estimates of the model indicate that an extra year of volunteer experience increases wage offers in part-time work by 8.3% and wage offers in full-time work by 2.4%. The behavioral model also reveals an adverse selection mechanism which is consistent with the negative returns to volunteering found in reduced-form wage regressions. The negative selection is driven by differential unobserved market-productivity and heterogeneous marginal utilities of future consumption. The structural estimates also imply that the economic returns to volunteering are relatively more important than non-economic returns, and introduction of a tax-credit for volunteering-related childcare expenses would substantially increase volunteer labor supply and female lifetime earnings.

Suggested Citation

  • Sauer, Robert M., 2012. "Does It Pay for Women to Volunteer?," IZA Discussion Papers 6784, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6784
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Why women should volunteer
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-10-16 19:30:00

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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    Cited by:

    1. Guido Cozzi & Noemi Mantovan & Robert M. Sauer, 2017. "Does it Pay to Work for Free? Negative Selection and the Wage Returns to Volunteer Experience," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 79(6), pages 1018-1045, December.
    2. Cozzi, Guido & Mantovan, Noemi & Sauer, Robert M., 2013. "Does it Pay to Work for Free? Wage Returns and Gender Differences in the Market for Volunteers," Economics Working Paper Series 1330, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    3. repec:eee:eecrev:v:98:y:2017:i:c:p:199-216 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:bla:manchs:v:85:y:2017:i:2:p:133-162 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Andrew T. Ching & Tülin Erdem & Michael P. Keane, 2016. "Empirical Models of Learning Dynamics: A Survey of Recent Developments," Economics Papers 2016-W12, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    6. 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).
    7. Helene Jorgensen, 2013. "Does It Pay to Volunteer? The Relationship Between Volunteer Work and Paid Work," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2013-10, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    female labor supply; marriage; fertility; negative selection; attrition; dynamic programming; structural estimation; simulated maximum likelihood; volunteering;

    JEL classification:

    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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