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This paper offers the first instrumental variables estimates of the wage
returns to volunteer experience. The returns are substantial and dier
considerably by gender. The results imply that the unequal valuation
of volunteer experience by gender is more important in explaining the
gender earnings gap than is the unequal valuation of part-time paid work
experience. The results also indicate negative selection into unpaid work.
In a simple model of optimal volunteering, negative selection implies that
a lower cost of volunteering would produce both an expanded and higher-
skilled pool of volunteers, and greater societal benets from volunteer


  • Volunteering, Unpaid work, Gender Differences, Instrumental variables, Negarive Selection
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1018-1045
JournalOxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics
Issue number6
Early online date2 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

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