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Title: Three Essays on Volunteers in Economics
Authors: LI XIAOYE
Keywords: Volunteers, Crowding-in/out, Motivation, Social Capital
Issue Date: 29-Aug-2013
Source: LI XIAOYE (2013-08-29). Three Essays on Volunteers in Economics. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This thesis is composed of three essays on the volunteers in economics. A natural field experiment is designed in the first study to explore the effects of external incentives on the behavior of people differentiated by their original dominant motivation (intrinsic/extrinsic). This paper suggests that people who are intrinsically motivated respond to a more controlling incentive with a faster decrease of intrinsic motivation and a slower increase of extrinsic motivation, resulting in a crowding-out effect. Our study also finds the opposite crowding-in effect for more extrinsically motivated people. The second study attempts to examine the specific motivation of college students to volunteer, based on the interpretation of volunteering as consumption and investment. Micro-level data, collected by the online survey from volunteers at the Shanghai World Expo 2010 in China and (non-)volunteers on the RenDa Economics Forum, one of the main social networking sites in China, provide strong support for the consumption motive. As far as the investment motive is concerned we find no clear statistical evidence for its validity. The volunteering activities do not play a significant role in determining the future income compared with other factors, such as SNCEE, gender, age, parental education, working location and the type of working organization. In the third study, we show that an inflow of immigrants reduces social capital in receiving communities. Since the 1960s, the U.S. has seen a large decrease in social capital as well as a considerable inflow of immigrants. This increased heterogeneity in U.S. cities may have increased the cost of investing in social capital and thereby reduced such investment. By using survey data on volunteering (our proxy for social capital investment) for 2005?2011, we find that a 10% increase in the proportion of foreign-born individuals in a state reduces the probability of U.S.-born individuals volunteering by 4?6%.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D Theses (Open)

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