IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Volunteers for Development: A Test of the Post-Materialist Hypothesis in Britiain, c. 1965-1987


  • Matthew Braham

    (Formerly of St. John's College, Oxford)


Volunteering by young adults for working in Third World countries on development projects emerged in Britain the late 1950s. Three decades later, the country’s largest volunteering sending agency, Voluntary Service Overseas, had sent more than 21,000 people abroad. The most common explanation for the emergence and growth of what is a small social movement is the affluence-value change theory, or Post-Materialism, which predicts that variations in the growth of the movement should vary positively with changes in wealth. This paper tests this prediction with a simple econometric model, and finds that this does not appear to be the case.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Braham, 1999. "Volunteers for Development: A Test of the Post-Materialist Hypothesis in Britiain, c. 1965-1987," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _030, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:nuf:esohwp:_030

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bromley, Daniel W., 1990. "The ideology of efficiency: Searching for a theory of policy analysis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 86-107, July.
    2. Samuels,Warren J. Assisted by-Name:Johnson,Marianne F. Assisted by-Name:Perry,William H., 2014. "Erasing the Invisible Hand," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107613164, March.
    3. William D. Grampp, 2000. "What Did Smith Mean by the Invisible Hand?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 441-465, June.
    4. Bhide, Amar, 2010. "A Call for Judgment: Sensible Finance for a Dynamic Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199756070.
    5. Montes, Leonidas, 2003. "Das Adam Smith Problem: Its Origins, the Stages of the Current Debate, and One Implication for Our Understanding of Sympathy," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(01), pages 63-90, March.
    6. Robert Sugden, 2009. "Can Economics be Founded on 'Indisputable Facts of Experience'? Lionel Robbins and the Pioneers of Neoclassical Economics," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(s1), pages 857-872, October.
    7. Smith, Adam, 1776. "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number smith1776.
    8. Avner Offer, 2012. "A Warrant for Pain: Caveat Emptor vs. the Duty of Care in American Medicine, c. 1970-2010," Economics Series Working Papers Number 102, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    9. Avner Offer, 1997. "Between the gift and the market: the economy of regard," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 50(3), pages 450-476, August.
    10. Offer, Avner, 2007. "The Challenge of Affluence: Self-Control and Well-Being in the United States and Britain since 1950," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199216628.
    11. Smith, Adam, 1759. "The Theory of Moral Sentiments," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number smith1759.
    12. R. G. Lipsey & Kelvin Lancaster, 1956. "The General Theory of Second Best," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 11-32.
    13. Alan P. Kirman, 1992. "Whom or What Does the Representative Individual Represent?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 117-136, Spring.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    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:nuf:esohwp:_030. 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: (Maxine Collett). 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.