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Title:Volunteering, happiness and public policy PDF Logo
Authors:Binder, Martin
Freytag, Andreas
Issue Date:2012
Series/Report no.:Jena economic research papers 2012,013
Abstract:Is the activity of volunteering something that benefits the volunteer as well as the recipient of the volunteer's activities? We analyze this relationship and apply matching estimators to the large-scale British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) data set to estimate the causal impact of volunteering on happiness. We take into account personality traits that could jointly determine volunteering behaviour and happiness. We find that the causal impact of volunteering on happiness is positive and increasing over time if volunteering is sustained. In a quantile analysis, we find that this effect seems to be driven by reducing the unhappiness of the less happy quantiles of the well-being distribution. We test the robustness of our findings and discuss their relevance for public policy.
Subjects:volunteering
happiness
altruism
generosity
public policy
BHPS
JEL:D6
D64
Z1
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:Jena Economic Research Papers, MPI für Ökonomik

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