The Monetary‐Equivalent Effect of Voluntary Work on Mental Wellbeing in Europe

The hypothesis that active community involvement is beneficial for health finds strong support in the medical literature and in most policy guidelines for active ageing in OECD countries. We test it empirically and find that voluntary work has a significant impact on several measures of mental wellbeing. When accounting for fixed effects, panel attrition, endogeneity, and reverse causality, the positive effect of voluntary work remains robust. For the first time in the literature, we calculate the monetary equivalent of mental wellbeing benefits of voluntary work with the compensating variation approach, and estimate them up to a maximum of around 9,500 euros per indicator. Our results imply that policies fostering voluntary work of the elderly would contribute to active ageing and the wellbeing of the elderly and reduce welfare costs for society.

via The Monetary‐Equivalent Effect of Voluntary Work on Mental Wellbeing in Europe by Leonardo Becchetti, Pierluigi Conzo, Mirko Di Febbraro :: SSRN

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