Volunteering, subjective well-being and public policy
We apply matching estimators to the large-scale British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) data set to estimate the impact of volunteering on subjective well-being. We take into account personality traits that could jointly determine volunteering behaviour and subjective well-being. We find that the impact of regular volunteering on subjective well-being is positive and increasing over time if regular 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 for those who volunteer regularly. We test the robustness of our findings and discuss their relevance for public policy. (c) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Journal of Economic Psychology
Volume and page numbers
34 , 97 -119
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