Sozioökonomie des Ehrenamtes: Theorie der nicht-entlohnten haushaltsextern organisierten Produktion

Sozioökonomie des Ehrenamtes: Theorie der nicht-entlohnten haushaltsextern organisierten Produktion. Gelsenkirchen: Inst. Arbeit und Technik. Veröffentlichung im Rahmen des WZN-Verbundprojektes "Zukunft der Arbeit II": Diskussionspapier, Nr. 13 - Graue Reihe des Instituts Arbeit und Technik, Nr. 2000-14

Erlinghagen, Marcel


Due to the current scientific, political and also public debate in Germany about the ‘future of volunteering’ the paper is interested in the characteristics that divides volunteering from other forms of productive work. It becomes obvious that it is not very useful to identify only one form of volunteer work but to recognize that several formal types (Phenotypes) and types with different contents (Genotypes) can be distinguished. By means of these criteria a new ideal-typical classification is developed that allows precise distinctions between every kind of voluntary work in Germany.

Based upon this theoretical concept a theory of volunteering is developed by using microeconomic terms. Asking for the individual revenues or benefits of volunteer work a combination of New Institutionalism and New Household Economics is used.

The decision to produce a commodity through volunteer work is a complex process where the limited rational and by opportunistic behaviour threatened individuals try to maximize their utility. This utility maximization, however, does not only depend on minimizing the pure production costs; minimization of transaction costs and a simultaneous maximization of economies of scale and possibly appearing economies of scope seems to be a crucial reason for individuals to volunteer.

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