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Does It Pay for Women to Volunteer?

Author

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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 of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6784
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    1. Why women should volunteer
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-10-16 19:30:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Betul Akar & Pelin Akyol & Cagla Okten, 2022. "Education and Voluntary Work: Evidence from Turkish Time Use Survey," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 275-320, June.
    2. Dolan, Paul & Krekel, Christian & Shreedhar, Ganga & Lee, Helen & Marshall, Claire & Smith, Allison, 2021. "Happy to Help: The Welfare Effects of a Nationwide Micro-Volunteering Programme," IZA Discussion Papers 14431, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Antonio Alfonso-Costillo & Rafael Morales-Sánchez & Dunia López-Pintado, 2020. "Does volunteering increase employment opportunities? An experimental approach," Working Papers 20.08, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
    4. Jens Detollenaere & Sara Willems & Stijn Baert, 2017. "Volunteering, income and health," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 12(3), pages 1-11, March.
    5. Dan Anderberg & Noemi Mantovan & Robert M. Sauer, 2018. "The Dynamics of Domestic Violence: Learning about the Match," CESifo Working Paper Series 6983, CESifo.
    6. Andrew T. Ching & Tülin Erdem & Michael P. Keane, 2017. "Empirical Models of Learning Dynamics: A Survey of Recent Developments," International Series in Operations Research & Management Science, in: Berend Wierenga & Ralf van der Lans (ed.), Handbook of Marketing Decision Models, edition 2, chapter 0, pages 223-257, Springer.
    7. Alfonso-Costillo, Antonio & Morales-Sánchez, Rafael & López-Pintado, Dunia, 2021. "Does volunteering increase employment opportunities? An experimental approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 203(C).
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Heinz, Matthias & Schumacher, Heiner, 2017. "Signaling cooperation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 199-216.
    11. Jane Parry & Katherine Brookfield & Vicki Bolton, 2021. "“The long arm of the household”: Gendered struggles in combining paid work with social and civil participation over the lifecourse," Gender, Work and Organization, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 361-378, January.
    12. Alfonso-Costillo, Antonio & Morales-Sánchez, Rafael & López-Pintado, Dunia, 2020. "Does volunteering increase employment opportunities? An experimental approach," MPRA Paper 103976, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Eva Van Belle & Ralf Caers & Marijke De Couck & Valentina Di Stasio & Stijn Baert, 2019. "The Signal of Applying for a Job Under a Vacancy Referral Scheme," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 251-274, April.
    14. Akar, Betul & Akyol, Pelin & Okten, Cagla, 2019. "Education and Prosocial Behavior: Evidence from Time Use Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 12558, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. Michael Vlassopoulos, 2017. "‘Putting a Foot in the Door’: Volunteer Hiring and Organizational Form," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 85(2), pages 133-162, March.
    16. Zhu, Rong, 2021. "Retirement and voluntary work provision: Evidence from the Australian Age Pension reform," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 190(C), pages 674-690.
    17. Thomas Zimmerfaust, 2018. "Are Workers Willing To Pay To Join A Better Team?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 56(2), pages 1278-1295, April.
    18. Jack Britton & Ben Waltmann, 2021. "Revisiting the solution of dynamic discrete choice models: time to bring back Keane and Wolpin (1994)?," IFS Working Papers W21/13, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    19. Christian Belzil & Jorgen Hansen & Xingfei Liu, 2017. "Dynamic skill accumulation, education policies, and the return to schooling," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 8(3), pages 895-927, November.
    20. Georganas, Sotiris & Laliotis, Ioannis & Velias, Alina, 2022. "The best is yet to come: The impact of retirement on prosocial behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 196(C), pages 589-615.
    21. Baert, Stijn & Vujic, Suncica, 2016. "Does It Pay to Care? Prosocial Engagement and Employment Opportunities," IZA Discussion Papers 9649, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    22. Mao, Likun & Normand, Charles, 2022. "The effect of volunteering on employment: Evidence from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA)," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 21(C).
    23. Stijn Baert & Sunčica Vujić, 2018. "Does it pay to care? Volunteering and employment opportunities," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 31(3), pages 819-836, July.
    24. 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).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    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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