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Doing Good, Feeling Good: Causal Evidence from Canadian Volunteers

Catherine Deri Armstrong (), Rose Anne Devlin () and Forough Seifi ()
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Catherine Deri Armstrong: University of Ottawa, ON, Canada
Forough Seifi: University of Ottawa, ON, Canada

No 1807E, Working Papers from University of Ottawa, Department of Economics

Abstract: Volunteers are reputedly healthier and happier than their non-volunteering counterparts. But is this a causal link or are healthier, happy individuals simply more likely to volunteer? Some papers have attempted to identify the causal relationship using an instrumental variable methodology; most relying on measures of religiosity as instruments for volunteering. No studies of such nature have been conducted in Canada. We rely on a novel instrument, a measure physical proximity to volunteer opportunities and use data from Canadian General Social Surveys to fill this gap. Employing a conditional mixed process (CMP) model, we find that volunteering is a robustly significant predictor of health, and positively affects life satisfaction for female and middle-aged individuals.

Keywords: Volunteering; volunteering and health; volunteering and life satisfaction (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 31 pages
Date: 2018
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hap and nep-hea
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