Does geographic context influence employability-motivated volunteering? the role of area-level material insecurity and urbanicity

Antony Chum, Sara Carpenter, Eddie Farrell, Laurie Mook, Femida Handy, Daniel Schugurensky, Jack Quarter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

There is a growing public discourse that volunteering increases the likelihood of finding a better job because it improves social and human capital. While previous studies have largely treated volunteers' motivations as individualistically determined, contextual determinants of volunteers' motivations are relatively neglected. The purpose of this study is to understand the individual and contextual characteristics in which individuals are more likely to volunteer as a means of improving their employability. Using a random sample of 768 volunteers across Canada, we estimate the independent effects of a) municipal-level material insecurity, b) urbanicity, and c) individual characteristics on the odds of "volunteering to improve employability." Our findings show that living in municipalities with high economic insecurity and in urban settings independently increases the odds of volunteering to improve employability. Our study points to evidence of model misspecification, by omission of unobserved geographical covariates, in previous studies of volunteers' motivations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-368
Number of pages15
JournalCanadian Geographer
Volume59
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

Keywords

  • contextual effects
  • Employability
  • material insecurity
  • multilevel modeling
  • volunteerism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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