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Journal Article

'…Do it with joy!' – Subjective well-being outcomes of working in non-profit organizations


Publication date

Jun 2016


Working in non-profit organizations has been shown to be good for individuals’ satisfaction with their jobs despite lower incomes. This paper explores the impact of non-profit work on life satisfaction more general for the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) and finds a significant positive impact the size about more than a fourth of that of getting widowed. This effect is quite uniform across the subjective well-being distribution, and thus exists also for those who are already happy. Shadow prices peg this effect at around 22,000 GBP p.a., the average amount of equivalent net household income in the sample analyzed (which is roughly 27,000 GBP p.a.). The positive effect can be explained by third sector workers enjoying their day-to-day activities more, being (affectively) happier and feeling that they are playing a useful role in their lives.

Published in

Journal of Economic Psychology

Volume and page numbers

54 , 64 -84





Psychology, Sociology Of Labour, Labour Market, Organizations And Firms, Well Being, and Health


University of Essex, Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to University of Essex registered users* -


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