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Does It Pay to Care? Prosocial Engagement and Employment Opportunities

Author

Listed:
  • Baert, Stijn

    (Ghent University)

  • Vujic, Suncica

    (University of Antwerp)

Abstract

We investigate whether, why and when prosocial engagement has a causal effect on individual employment opportunities. To this end, a field experiment is conducted in which volunteering activities are randomly assigned to fictitious job applications sent to genuine vacancies. We find that volunteers get one third more interview invitations than non-volunteers. The volunteering premium is higher for females but invariant with respect to the number of engagements and the private versus public or nonprofit orientation of the job posting firm. As a result, our findings are consistent with the idea that prosocial workers sort themselves into non-commercial sectors.

Suggested Citation

  • Baert, Stijn & Vujic, Suncica, 2016. "Does It Pay to Care? Prosocial Engagement and Employment Opportunities," IZA Discussion Papers 9649, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9649
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gregg, Paul & Grout, Paul A. & Ratcliffe, Anita & Smith, Sarah & Windmeijer, Frank, 2011. "How important is pro-social behaviour in the delivery of public services?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 758-766, August.
    2. Stijn Baert & Bart Cockx & Niels Gheyle & Cora Vandamme, 2015. "Is There Less Discrimination in Occupations Where Recruitment Is Difficult?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 68(3), pages 467-500, May.
    3. Robert M. Sauer, 2015. "Does It Pay For Women To Volunteer?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 56(2), pages 537-564, May.
    4. Uysal, Selver Derya & Pohlmeier, Winfried, 2011. "Unemployment duration and personality," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 980-992.
    5. Robert M. Sauer, 2015. "Does It Pay For Women To Volunteer?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 56, pages 537-564, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Baert, Stijn & Vujić, Sunčica, 2016. "Immigrant volunteering: A way out of labour market discrimination?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 95-98.
    2. 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.
    3. Dur, Robert & van Lent, Max, 2018. "Serving the public interest in several ways: Theory and empirics," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 13-24.
    4. Piopiunik, Marc & Schwerdt, Guido & Simon, Lisa & Woessmann, Ludger, 2020. "Skills, signals, and employability: An experimental investigation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 123(C).
    5. Bigoni, Maria & Ploner, Matteo & Vu, Thi-Thanh-Tam, 2021. "The Right Person for the Right Job: Workers' Prosociality as a Screening Device," IZA Discussion Papers 14779, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Sauer, Robert M. & Wilson, John & Mantovan, Noemi, 2019. "The Economic Benefits of Volunteering and Social Class," IZA Discussion Papers 12713, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Max van Lent, 2017. "Increasing the Well-Being of Others On-the-Job and Outside the Workplace," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-061/VII, Tinbergen Institute.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    sorting; statistical discrimination; gender gaps; volunteering; labour market; prosocial behaviour; experiments;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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