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Doing Good, Feeling Good: Causal Evidence from Canadian Volunteers

Author

Listed:
  • Catherine Deri Armstrong

    () (University of Ottawa, ON, Canada)

  • Rose Anne Devlin

    () (University of Ottawa, ON, Canada)

  • Forough Seifi

    () (University of Ottawa, ON, Canada)

Abstract

Volunteers are reputedly healthier and happier than their non-volunteering counterparts. But is this a causal link or are healthier, happy individuals simply more likely to volunteer? Some papers have attempted to identify the causal relationship using an instrumental variable methodology; most relying on measures of religiosity as instruments for volunteering. No studies of such nature have been conducted in Canada. We rely on a novel instrument, a measure physical proximity to volunteer opportunities and use data from Canadian General Social Surveys to fill this gap. Employing a conditional mixed process (CMP) model, we find that volunteering is a robustly significant predictor of health, and positively affects life satisfaction for female and middle-aged individuals.

Suggested Citation

  • Catherine Deri Armstrong & Rose Anne Devlin & Forough Seifi, 2018. "Doing Good, Feeling Good: Causal Evidence from Canadian Volunteers," Working Papers 1807E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ott:wpaper:1807e
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    File URL: https://socialsciences.uottawa.ca/economics/sites/socialsciences.uottawa.ca.economics/files/1807ee.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 69-85, Fall.
    2. Pamela D. Pilkington & Tim D. Windsor & Dimity A. Crisp, 2012. "Volunteering and Subjective Well-Being in Midlife and Older Adults: The Role of Supportive Social Networks," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 67(2), pages 249-260.
    3. David Roodman, 2011. "Fitting fully observed recursive mixed-process models with cmp," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 11(2), pages 159-206, June.
    4. 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.
    5. Ettner, Susan L., 1996. "New evidence on the relationship between income and health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 67-85, February.
    6. Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2010. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232588, December.
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    8. Damiano Fiorillo & Nunzia Nappo, 2017. "Formal volunteering and self-perceived health. Causal evidence from the UK-SILC," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 75(2), pages 112-138, April.
    9. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-255, March-Apr.
    10. Catherine Deri-Armstrong & Rose Anne Devlin & Forough Seifi, 2016. "Build it and they will come: Volunteer Opportunities and Volunteering," Working Papers 1615E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    11. Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," Working Papers 834, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    12. Gimenez-Nadal, J. Ignacio & Molina, José Alberto, 2015. "Voluntary Activities and Daily Happiness in the US," IZA Discussion Papers 8764, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Borgonovi, Francesca, 2008. "Doing well by doing good. The relationship between formal volunteering and self-reported health and happiness," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(11), pages 2321-2334, June.
    14. McDonald, James Ted & Kennedy, Steven, 2004. "Insights into the 'healthy immigrant effect': health status and health service use of immigrants to Canada," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(8), pages 1613-1627, October.
    15. repec:fth:prinin:455 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Binder, Martin & Freytag, Andreas, 2013. "Volunteering, subjective well-being and public policy," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 97-119.
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    Keywords

    Volunteering; volunteering and health; volunteering and life satisfaction;

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