A MONETARY BENEFIT TO VOLUNTEERING? A LOOK AT THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN FORMALLY VOLUNTEERING AND WAGES
The United States nonprofit sector is one of the largest in the world, accounts for a significant portion of US economic activity, and relies heavily on voluntary labor. In 2000, volunteers donated time was equivalent to over 9 million full-time employee time at a value of $239 billion. (Independent Sector, 2001) This is nearly as large as the number of paid nonprofit workers which employed 12.5 million people (9.5 percent of all adult nonagricultural workers in the United States) in 2001. (Independent Sector, 2004) Thus, volunteering notably benefits the nonprofit organization and society as a whole. This is underlined by various government programs which promote volunteering, most notably Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and VISTA. Economic theory tells us that ndividuals receive some benefit from volunteering or else they would not donate their time and labor. Various models assume people volunteer to influence the supply and allocation of the social good provided by the organization, to receive the self-satisfaction of doing good, or to improve their labor force desirability. This study does not delve into the motivation of individuals but rather focuses on the veracity of the third factor. Using the September 2004 Current Population Survey with supplemental questions on volunteering, this paper explores the assumption that volunteering can raise one 's human capital and in turn make them more desirable to the labor market. This would be reflected in the hypothesis tested here that volunteers earn more than their non-volunteering counterparts. The results can add another dimension to debates on whether volunteering should be promoted through tax laws, job training programs, and the education system.
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Moran, Theodore (Georgetown University, 2013-10-01)Globalization's Winners and Losers: Challenges for Developed and Developing Countries - GeorgetownX - INFX523-01