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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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Trine Filges & Anu Siren & Torben Fridberg & Bjørn C. V. Nielsen, 2020. "Voluntary work for the physical and mental health of older volunteers: A systematic review," Campbell Systematic Reviews, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 16(4), December.

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    Keywords

    Volunteering; volunteering and health; volunteering and life satisfaction;
    All these keywords.

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