Is There a Subjective Well-Being Premium in Voluntary Sector Employment?

Abstract

Previous studies have found that employment in the voluntary sector offers a so-called ‘job satisfaction premium’: despite lower salaries, voluntary sector employees are more satisfied with their jobs than workers in other sectors. This paper examines whether voluntary sector employees also experience a subjective well-being premium. Using data from the UK Annual Population Survey 2012/2013, we find that voluntary sector employees do have higher levels of subjective well-being but this subjective well-being premium is not evenly distributed between men and women. While both men and women in the voluntary sector experience higher levels of fulfilment than private sector employees, only men have higher levels of happiness and life satisfaction. Women in the voluntary sector have lower life satisfaction than their public sector counterparts. We discuss the implications of our findings for policy and practice in the voluntary sector in the UK.

Résumé

Des études précédentes ont constaté que l’emploi dans le secteur bénévole offrait une soi-disant « prime de satisfaction de travail » : malgré des salaires faibles, les employés du secteur bénévole sont plus satisfaits de leur emploi que les travailleurs des autres secteurs. Cet article examine si les employés du secteur bénévole ont également connu une prime de bien-être subjectif. À l’aide de données issues de l’enquête annuelle du Royaume-Uni sur la population 2012-2013, nous constatons que les employés du secteur bénévole ont des niveaux plus élevés de bien-être subjectif mais que cette prime de bien-être subjectif n’est pas également répartie entre les hommes et les femmes. Les hommes obtiennent de meilleurs résultats concernant le bonheur et la satisfaction dans la vie. Cependant, les femmes dans le secteur bénévole ont des niveaux de satisfaction dans la vie plus faibles par rapport à leurs homologues du secteur public. Nous examinons les conséquences de nos résultats pour les politiques et les pratiques du secteur bénévole au Royaume-Uni.

Zusammenfassung

Frühere Studien sind zu dem Ergebnis gekommen, dass eine Beschäftigung im gemeinnützigen Sektor einen so genannten „Jobzufriedenheitsbonus“bietet: Trotz niedrigerer Gehälter sind die Beschäftigten im gemeinnützigen Sektor mit ihrer Arbeit zufriedener als Beschäftigte in anderen Sektoren. Dieser Beitrag untersucht, ob die Beschäftigten im gemeinnützigen Sektor auch ein zusätzliches subjektives Wohlbefinden wahrnehmen. Die Daten der 2012/2013 durchgeführten jährlichen Bevölkerungsumfrage in Großbritannien (UK Annual Population Survey) zeigen, dass Beschäftigte im gemeinnützigen Sektor in der Tat ein größeres Maß an subjektivem Wohlbefinden wahrnehmen; jedoch ist dieser Bonus des subjektiven Wohlbefindens nicht gleichmäßig zwischen Männern und Frauen aufgeteilt. Männer empfinden ein größeres Glücksgefühl und eine höhere Lebenszufriedenheit. Frauen im gemeinnützigen Sektor empfinden allerdings eine geringere Lebenszufriedenheit im Vergleich zu Frauen, die im öffentlichen Sektor tätig sind. Wir diskutieren die Implikationen unserer Ergebnisse für Politik und Praxis des gemeinnützigen Sektors in Großbritannien.

Resumen

Estudios previos han encontrado que el empleo en el sector del voluntariado ofrece una denominada “prima de satisfacción por el trabajo”: a pesar de salarios más bajos, los empleados del sector del voluntariado están más satisfechos con sus trabajos que los trabajadores de otros sectores. El presente documento examina si los empleados del sector del voluntariado también experimentan una prima de bienestar subjetivo. Utilizando datos de la Encuesta Anual de Población del Reino Unido de 2012/2013, encontramos que los empleados del sector del voluntariado tienen niveles más elevados de bienestar subjetivo pero esta prima de bienestar subjetivo no está distribuida de manera uniforme entre hombres y mujeres. Los hombres muestran valores más altos en felicidad y satisfacción con la vida. Sin embargo, las mujeres en el sector del voluntariado tienen menores niveles de satisfacción con la vida en comparación a sus contrapartes en el sector público. Tratamos las implicaciones de nuestros hallazgos para la política y la práctica en el sector del voluntariado en el Reino Unido.

摘要

以往的研究发现,志愿行业的工作能提供所谓的“工作满足感额外奖励”:即尽管工资较低,志愿行业的雇员对其工作的满足感要比其他行业的雇员更高。本文旨在检视志愿行业的雇员是否感受到主观幸福感这一额外奖励。通过使用“2012~2013年英国年度人口调查”的数据,我们发现志愿行业雇员的主观幸福感水平确实更高,但主观幸福感这种额外奖励并不是平均地分布于男性与女性之间的。男性在幸福与生活满足感方面的得分较高。然而,与其他公共部门的女性相比,志愿行业女性生活满足感的水平较低。我们就本文研究结果对于英国志愿部门的政策与实践的意义进行了探讨。

要約

先行研究では、第三セクターの雇用、いわゆる「仕事の満足度プレミアム」を提供しているが、低賃金にもかかわらず第三セクターの部門の就業者は他のセクターの就業者よりも自分の仕事に満足していることがわかった。本論では、第三セクターの就業者が主観的幸福感のプレミアムを有するかを調査する。2012年および2013年の英国における年次人口調査のデータを用いて、第三セクターの就業者は主観的幸福感の高いレベルを有しているが、この主観的幸福感のプレミアムは男女間では均等でないことがわかった。幸福と生活満足度でスコアが高いのは男性である。ただし、第三セクターの女性は公共部門の女性と比較して生活満足度が低レベルである。英国の第三セクターにおける政策と実践の研究成果の意義について述べる。

ملخص

قد وجدت دراسات سابقة أن العمالة في القطاع التطوعي تقدم ما يسمى ‘إرتياح للعمل متميز ‘: على الرغم من إنخفاض المرتبات، موظفي القطاع التطوعي أكثر رضا بوظائفهم عن العاملين في قطاعات أخرى. تبحث هذه المقالة على حد سواء أن العاملين في القطاع التطوعي أيضا˝ يتمتعون برفاهية ذاتية متميزة. بإستخدام بيانات من إستطلاع الرأي السنوي من المملكة المتحدة للسكان 2012/2013، نجد أن موظفي القطاع التطوعي لديهم مستويات أعلى من الرفاهية الذاتية ولكن هذه الرفاهية الذاتية المميزة ليست موزعة بالتساوي بين الرجال والنساء. الرجال يسجلون درجة أعلى في السعادة و الرضا بالحياة. مع ذلك، فإن النساء في القطاع التطوعي لديهم مستويات أقل من الرضا بالحياة مقارنة مع نظائرهم في القطاع العام. نحن نناقش الآثار المترتبة على النتائج التي توصلنا إليها عن السياسات والممارسات في القطاع التطوعي في المملكة المتحدة.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    This is also commonly known as the non-profit sector, or third sector. In the survey on which the analysis is based, this sector comprises those jobs which are ‘A charity, voluntary organisation or trust’. The private sector is based on two options: ‘a private firm or business, a limited company’ or ‘A public limited company (plc)’. A wide range of other options comprise the public sector (e.g. ‘Central government or civil service’ and ‘A nationalised industry/state corporation’, among others).

  2. 2.

    A sensitivity analysis established that there were no statistically significant differences in the levels of well-being between people working in the armed forces and ‘other kind of organisations’ and in the rest of public sector. Therefore, these two types of organisations were included under ‘public sector’.

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Acknowledgments

The support of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) (Grant number RES595280001), the Office for Civil Society (OCS) and the Barrow Cadbury UK Trust is gratefully acknowledged. The work was part of the programme of the joint ESRC, OCS Barrow Cadbury Third Sector Research Centre. The authors would like to thank Dr. Matthew Bennett and the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on previous drafts of this article.

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Correspondence to Daiga Kamerāde.

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Kamerāde, D., McKay, S. Is There a Subjective Well-Being Premium in Voluntary Sector Employment?. Voluntas 26, 2733–2754 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-014-9545-z

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Keywords

  • Subjective well-being
  • Gender
  • Employment
  • Voluntary sector
  • Non-profit sector