This article examines the individual economic returns to volunteering during different stages of working life. The article uses a unique panel dataset created by combining rich survey data from Denmark with information on wages from administrative registers covering the period from 2004 to 2012. Applying a two-way fixed effects regression model that controls for both period-specific and individual-specific effects, the article finds that for labour market entrants and for people in the early stages of their working life, an additional year of volunteer work experience yields a significant positive return. However, the economic returns to volunteer work experience decrease as a function of professional labour market experience. For people with more than six years of professional labour market experience, the economic returns to volunteer work experience are insignificant. On these grounds, the article argues that the economic returns to volunteer work experience depend on the current stage of people’s work lives.
Bibliographical noteFirst submission August 2017; Revision submitted February 2018; Accept February 2018; First published February 2018
Hans-Peter Qvist & Martin David Munk
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