IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/sol/wpaper/2013-269404.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Earning to Give: Occupational Choice for Effective Altruists

Author

Listed:
  • Jonathan Morduch
  • Ariane Szafarz

Abstract

Effective altruists wish to do good while optimizing the social performance they deliver. We apply this principle to the labor market. We determine the optimal occupational choice of a socially motivated worker who has two mutually exclusive options: a job with a for-profit firm and a lower-paid job with a nonprofit. We construct a model in which a worker motivated only by pure altruism will work at a relatively high wage for the for-profit firm and then make charitable contributions to the nonprofit; this represents the “earning to give” option. By contrast, the occupational choice of a worker sensitive to warm glow (“impure altruism”) depends on her income level. While the presence of “warm glow” feelings would seem to clearly benefit charitable organizations, we show that impure altruism can create distortions in labor market choices. In some cases, warm glow feelings may push the worker to take a job with the nonprofit,even when it is not optimal for the nonprofit.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan Morduch & Ariane Szafarz, 2018. "Earning to Give: Occupational Choice for Effective Altruists," Working Papers CEB 18-017, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/269404
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/269404/3/wp18017.pdf
    File Function: Œuvre complète ou partie de l'œuvre
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Karlan, Dean & Wood, Daniel H., 2017. "The effect of effectiveness: Donor response to aid effectiveness in a direct mail fundraising experiment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 1-8.
    2. Özgür Evren & Stefania Minardi, 2017. "Warm‐glow Giving and Freedom to be Selfish," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(603), pages 1381-1409, August.
    3. Shibly Shahrier & Koji Kotani, 2016. "Labor Donation Or Money Donation? Pro-Sociality On Prevention Of Natural Disasters In A Case Of Cyclone Aila, Bangladesh," The Singapore Economic Review (SER), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 61(01), pages 1-26, March.
    4. Alexander L. Brown & Jonathan Meer & J. Forrest Williams, 2019. "Why Do People Volunteer? An Experimental Analysis of Preferences for Time Donations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 65(4), pages 1455-1468, April.
    5. Bauer, Thomas K. & Bredtmann, Julia & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2013. "Time vs. money — The supply of voluntary labor and charitable donations across Europe," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 80-94.
    6. Warr, Peter G., 1982. "Pareto optimal redistribution and private charity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 131-138, October.
    7. Jones, Daniel B., 2015. "The supply and demand of motivated labor: When should we expect to see nonprofit wage gaps?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 1-14.
    8. Logan Cochrane & Alec Thornton, 2016. "Charity Rankings: Delivering Development or Dehumanising Aid?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(1), pages 57-73, January.
    9. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-1458, December.
    10. Matthias Benz, 2005. "Not for the Profit, but for the Satisfaction? – Evidence on Worker Well‐Being in Non‐Profit Firms," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 155-176, May.
    11. Mark Ottoni-Wilhelm & Lise Vesterlund & Huan Xie, 2017. "Why Do People Give? Testing Pure and Impure Altruism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(11), pages 3617-3633, November.
    12. Preston, Anne E, 1989. "The Nonprofit Worker in a For-Profit World," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(4), pages 438-463, October.
    13. Preston, Anne E, 1990. "Women in the White-Collar Nonprofit Sector: The Best Option or the Only Option?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(4), pages 560-568, November.
    14. Weisbrod, Burton A, 1983. "Nonprofit and Proprietary Sector Behavior: Wage Differentials among Lawyers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(3), pages 246-263, July.
    15. Jonathan Meer, 2017. "Are overhead costs a good guide for charitable giving?," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 329-329, January.
    16. Leete, Laura, 2001. "Whither the Nonprofit Wage Differential? Estimates from the 1990 Census," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 136-170, January.
    17. Imas, Alex, 2014. "Working for the “warm glow”: On the benefits and limits of prosocial incentives," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 14-18.
    18. Nava Ashraf & Oriana Bandiera & Scott Lee, 2014. "Do-gooders and go-getters: career incentives, selection, and performance in public service delivery," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 54, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    19. Brown, Eleanor & Lankford, Hamilton, 1992. "Gifts of money and gifts of time estimating the effects of tax prices and available time," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 321-341, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. DeVaro, Jed & Maxwell, Nan & Morita, Hodaka, 2016. "Compensation and Intrinsic Motivation in Nonprofit and For-Profit Organizations," CEI Working Paper Series 2015-10, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    2. Simmons, Walter O. & Emanuele, Rosemarie, 2010. "Are volunteers substitute for paid labor in nonprofit organizations?," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 65-77, January.
    3. Barry T. Hirsch & David A. Macpherson & Anne E. Preston, 2018. "Nonprofit wages: theory and evidence," Chapters, in: Bruce A. Seaman & Dennis R. Young (ed.), Handbook of Research on Nonprofit Economics and Management, chapter 8, pages 146-179, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Alexander L. Brown & Jonathan Meer & J. Forrest Williams, 2019. "Why Do People Volunteer? An Experimental Analysis of Preferences for Time Donations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 65(4), pages 1455-1468, April.
    5. Lilley, Andrew & Slonim, Robert, 2014. "The price of warm glow," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 58-74.
    6. DeVaro, Jed & Maxwell, Nan & Morita, Hodaka, 2017. "Training and intrinsic motivation in nonprofit and for-profit organizations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 196-213.
    7. Astrid Haider & Ulrike Schneider, 2010. "The Influence Of Volunteers, Donations And Public Subsidies On The Wage Level Of Nonprofit Workers: Evidence From Austrian Matched Data," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 81(1), pages 1-20, March.
    8. Novak, Jiri & Bilinski, Pawel, 2018. "Social stigma and executive compensation," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 169-184.
    9. Jones, Daniel B., 2015. "The supply and demand of motivated labor: When should we expect to see nonprofit wage gaps?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 1-14.
    10. Leonardo Becchetti & Stefano Castriota & Ermanno Tortia, 2013. "Productivity, wages and intrinsic motivations," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 379-399, August.
    11. Arbel, Yuval & Bar-El, Ronen & Schwarz, Mordechai E. & Tobol, Yossef, 2019. "To What Do People Contribute? Ongoing Operations vs. Sustainable Supplies," IZA Discussion Papers 12180, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Mathieu Narcy, 2011. "Would nonprofit workers accept to earn less? Evidence from France," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(3), pages 313-326.
    13. Raúl López-Pérez & Aldo Ramírez-Almudio, 2020. "Why people give to their governments: The role of outcome-oriented norms," Working Papers 2007, Instituto de Políticas y Bienes Públicos (IPP), CSIC.
    14. Charness, Gary & Cobo-Reyes, Ramón & Sánchez, Ángela, 2016. "The effect of charitable giving on workers’ performance: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 131(PA), pages 61-74.
    15. Mark Ottoni-Wilhelm & Lise Vesterlund & Huan Xie, 2017. "Why Do People Give? Testing Pure and Impure Altruism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(11), pages 3617-3633, November.
    16. Martin Binder, 2015. "Do it with joy: Subjective well-being outcomes of working in non-profit organizations," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2015-03, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    17. Joseph LANFRANCHI & Mathieu NARCY, 2008. "Différence De Satisfaction Dans L'Emploi Entre Secteurs À But Lucratif Et À But Non Lucratif: Le Rôle Joué Par Les Caractéristiques D'Emploi," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 79(2), pages 323-368, June.
    18. Carpenter, Jeffrey P., 2018. "The Shape of Warm Glow: Field Experimental Evidence from a Fundraiser," IZA Discussion Papers 11760, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    19. Gauriot, Romain & Heger, Stephanie A. & Slonim, Robert, 2018. "Altruism or Diminishing Marginal Utility?," IZA Discussion Papers 11721, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    20. Jingping Li & Yohanes E. Riyanto, 2017. "Category Reporting In Charitable Giving: An Experimental Analysis," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(1), pages 397-408, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    altruism; occupation choice; nonprofit; warm glow; social performance; donation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:sol:wpaper:2013/269404. 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: (Benoit Pauwels). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cebulbe.html .

    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.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.