IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Volunteer Work, Informal Help, and Care among the 50+ in Europe: Further Evidence for ‘Linked’ Productive Activities at Older Ages


  • Karsten Hank


  • Stephanie Stuck

    () (Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA))


Taking a cross-national perspective, we investigate linkages between volunteer work, informal help, and care among Europeans aged 50 or older. Based on 27,305 personal interviews from the 2004 Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, we estimate univariate and multivariate probit models, which allow us to analyze the interrelationship between different productive activities. There is substantial variation in the participation in volunteering, helping, and caring between countries and regions. Independent of the general level of activity in a country, we find evidence for a complementary and interdependent relationship between all three activities. Our findings not only suggest an important role of societal opportunity structures in elders' productive engagement, but also support notions of the existence of a general motivation for engagement in productive activities.

Suggested Citation

  • Karsten Hank & Stephanie Stuck, 2007. "Volunteer Work, Informal Help, and Care among the 50+ in Europe: Further Evidence for ‘Linked’ Productive Activities at Older Ages," MEA discussion paper series 07142, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:mea:meawpa:07142

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gary S. Becker & Casey B. Mulligan, 1997. "The Endogenous Determination of Time Preference," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 729-758.
    2. Fabrice Etilé & Carine Milcent, 2006. "Income-related reporting heterogeneity in self-assessed health: evidence from France," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(9), pages 965-981.
    3. Agar Brugiavini & Tullio Jappelli & Guglielmo Weber, 2002. "The Survey on Health, Aging and Wealth," CSEF Working Papers 86, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    4. Orazio P. Attanasio & Hilary Williamson Hoynes, 2000. "Differential Mortality and Wealth Accumulation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(1), pages 1-29.
    5. Scott Adams, 2002. "Educational Attainment and Health: Evidence from a Sample of Older Adults," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(1), pages 97-109.
    6. Arendt, Jacob Nielsen, 2005. "Does education cause better health? A panel data analysis using school reforms for identification," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 149-160, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mea:meawpa:07142. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Henning Frankenberger). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.