Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/89923
Authors: 
Cozzi, Guido
Mantovan, Noemi
Sauer, Robert M.
Year of Publication: 
2013
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion Paper 7697
Abstract: 
Working as a volunteer is a widespread phenomenon that has both individual and societal benefits. In this paper, we identify the wage returns to working for free by exploiting exogenous variation in rainfall across local area districts in England, Scotland and Wales. Instrumental variables estimates reveal large returns for both men and women. However, the returns are differentially greater for men and account for a substantial proportion of the gender earnings gap. A comparison of OLS and IV estimates also indicates negative selection into volunteering for both genders. In a model of optimal volunteering, negative selection implies that a reduction in the cost of volunteering will lead to an expanded and higher-skilled pool of volunteers, and greater societal benefits. A policy that has the effect of reducing the cost relatively more for women may also narrow the gender earnings gap.
Subjects: 
volunteering
altruism
gender differences
discrimination
instrumental variables
rainfall
negative selection
JEL: 
C26
D64
H41
J16
J31
J71
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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