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Isamu Yamamoto and Kazuyasu Sakamoto
''What motivates volunteer work in an emergency? Evidence from the 2011 East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami''
( 2012, Vol. 32 No.3 )
This paper studies the mechanism of volunteer labor supply using panel data gathered during the period before and after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, which occurred on March 11, 2011. The results obtained from descriptive statistics and random probit model estimates show that the lower the opportunity costs of workers were, the more inclined they were to participate in volunteer activities prior to the earthquake. However, the data also suggests that this trend had become reversed during the period following the earthquake. This shift indicates that besides opportunity costs, factors such as altruistic and philanthropic sentiment may have inspired people to volunteer, particularly when serious conditions necessitate urgent assistance.
Keywords: Volunteer labor supply, Disaster volunteerism, East Japan, Earthquake and Tsunami, Opportunity cost
JEL: J2 - Demand and Supply of Labor: General
J3 - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs: General
Manuscript Received : Mar 27 2012 Manuscript Accepted : Jul 16 2012

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