An economic interpretation of institutional volunteering

Eliakim Katz, Jacob Rosenberg

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    49 Scopus citations


    Traditional economic theory predicts that individuals will not supply goods and services without being compensated. And yet, large numbers of individuals volunteer their work to a host of institutions. The majority of such volunteering is done through groups and associations devoted to particular causes. In this paper we offer an explanation of such volunteering, which is based on traditional economic theory. We argue that individuals with a propensity to volunteer are viewed as desirable in certain exchange relationships. Using the labor market as a backdrop, the paper combines the idea of screening with recent developments in organizational theory to explain why a large proportion of the population might rationally volunteer through institutions.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)429-443
    Number of pages15
    JournalEuropean Journal of Political Economy
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Jun 2005


    • Signaling
    • Volunteering


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