Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/107745
Authors: 
Beatton, Tony
Torgler, Benno
Year of Publication: 
2014
Series/Report no.: 
Nota di Lavoro, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei 103.2014
Abstract: 
Volunteering is a dominant social force that signals a healthy state. However, although the literature on volunteering is extensive, knowledge on how life’s discontinuities (life event shocks) affect volunteering is limited because most studies work with static (cross-sectional) data. To reduce this shortcoming, we use longitudinal data from Australia (HILDA) that tracks the same individuals over time to assess how individuals from different income and wealth groups respond to life and financial shocks with respect to volunteering. Although both income and wealth can act as buffers against life shocks by providing stability and reducing vulnerability—which decreases the need to actually change behaviour patterns—we observe more heterogeneity than expected and also stickiness at the lowest income levels. Response delays in post-shock volunteering also suggest that volunteering habits may be driven and influenced by strong commitment and motivation that are not shattered by life or financial shocks. In fact, the amount of time spent volunteering tends to increase after negative income shocks and decrease after positive income shocks.
Subjects: 
Volunteering
Life Event Shocks
Financial Shocks
Income
Wealth
Habits
Panel
Australia
JEL: 
D64
J22
D31
Z13
N37
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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