Journal of Scientific Papers


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ISSN 2071-789X

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Strike Plagiarism

  • General Founder and Publisher:

    Centre of Sociological Research


  • Publishing Partners:

    University of Szczecin (Poland)

    Széchenyi István University, (Hungary)

    Mykolas Romeris University (Lithuania)

    Alexander Dubcek University of Trencín (Slovak Republic)

  • Membership:

    American Sociological Association

    European Sociological Association

    World Economics Association (WEA)




A similar effect of volunteering and pensions on subjective wellbeing of elderly

Vol. 14, No 2, 2021

Adam Okulicz-Kozaryn


Rutgers University,

Camden, USA


A similar effect of volunteering and pensions on subjective wellbeing of elderly


Leszek Morawski


Faculty of Economic Sciences,

University of Warsaw,

Warsaw, Poland




Abstract. We study the effect of pensions and volunteering on subjective wellbeing (SWB) of elderly using the latest wave 6 of Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). This is the first study to consider pensions and volunteering simultaneously as determinants of SWB among elderly. We find that the effect of volunteering on SWB is not much smaller or indeed about as large as that of pensions. The most SWB is associated with volunteering about every week, but there is already a substantial effect even if one volunteers only about every month. We also find that the higher the income or wealth, but not pension, the lower the effect of volunteering – there may be higher opportunity cost for richer people to engage in volunteering. High European pensions may be unsustainable in the long run – we argue that promotion of volunteering is one way to increase elderly’s subjective wellbeing amidst tightening budgets.


Received: October, 2020

1st Revision: March, 2021

Accepted: May, 2021


DOI: 10.14254/2071-789X.2021/14-2/1

JEL ClassificationI30

Keywords: Subjective Wellbeing (SWB), Life Satisfaction, Happiness, Aging, Elderly, Volunteering, Social Transfers, Social Capital, Survey of Health Aging and Retirement in Europe (SHARE)