Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/62387
Authors: 
Sauer, Robert M.
Year of Publication: 
2012
Series/Report no.: 
Discussion Paper series, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit 6784
Abstract: 
This paper estimates the economic and non-economic returns to volunteering for prime-aged women. A woman's decision to engage in unpaid work, and to marry and have children, is formulated as a forward-looking discrete choice dynamic programming problem. Simulated maximum likelihood estimates of the model indicate that an extra year of volunteer experience increases wage offers in part-time work by 8.3% and wage offers in full-time work by 2.4%. The behavioral model also reveals an adverse selection mechanism which is consistent with the negative returns to volunteering found in reduced-form wage regressions. The negative selection is driven by differential unobserved market-productivity and heterogeneous marginal utilities of future consumption. The structural estimates also imply that the economic returns to volunteering are relatively more important than non-economic returns, and introduction of a tax-credit for volunteering-related childcare expenses would substantially increase volunteer labor supply and female lifetime earnings.
Subjects: 
female labor supply
marriage
fertility
negative selection
attrition
dynamic programming
structural estimation
simulated maximum likelihood
volunteering
JEL: 
C35
C53
C61
D91
J12
J13
J22
J24
J31
J64
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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