Volunteer work and domain satisfactions: evidence from Italy

Damiano Fiorillo (Department of Economic Studies, University of Napoli “Parthenope”, Napoli, Italy)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Publication date: 1 January 2012



The purpose of this paper is to analyze the determinants of three domain satisfactions, focusing on volunteer work supplied in official non‐profit service associations.


This paper uses the data from the Multiscopo Survey of Households (MSH) conducted by the Italian Central Statistical Office for the years 1993‐1995‐1998‐2000 for empirical investigations with ordered probit and ordinary least square estimations. A statistical matching procedure to impute missing values on household income in MSH is also performed.


The paper finds that volunteering is positively correlated with satisfaction with leisure, with relationships and economic well‐being. These findings are interpreted as an indication that the benefits gained from volunteering are a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic motivations as well as the production and consumption of relational goods. In addition, results for Italy confirm findings gathered from domain satisfaction studies for other Europe countries with some novel evidence.


Studies on domain satisfactions have received much less attention than happiness and life satisfaction. The paper contributes to the literature by carrying out the first assessment of the socio‐economic determinants of domain satisfactions in Italy from an economic perspective and the first empirical analysis on the relationship between volunteering and domain satisfactions. Overall, the value‐added of the study is two‐fold. First, it isolates empirically the reasons by which unpaid labour supply may be associated with individual life satisfaction. Second, it validates the empirical results of the few previous studies on domain satisfactions for some European countries using cross sectional and longitudinal data.



Fiorillo, D. (2012), "Volunteer work and domain satisfactions: evidence from Italy", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 39 No. 1/2, pp. 97-124. https://doi.org/10.1108/03068291211188893

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