The demand for volunteer labor: A study of hospital volunteers

  • Handy F
  • Srinivasan N
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The authors challenge the assumption that organizations are willing to use all the volunteer labor available to them. Rather, they are influenced by the costs incurred of utilizing volunteer labor. This article provides a modest first look at the demand for volunteers by nonprofit institutions. Specifically, the article presents an economic analysis of the demand of volunteer labor by hospitals in the Toronto area and examines some of the factors that may determine the hospitals’ willingness to use volunteer labor. Using data generated from 28 hospitals in Toronto, which use a total of more than 2 million volunteer hr per year, the authors show that the quantity of volunteer hours demanded is a decreasing function of their costs. Other factors such as productivity, output, and labor market institutions also influence the demand for volunteers. Keywords: hospital

Author-supplied keywords

  • Canada
  • Demand for labor
  • Hospital volunteers
  • Nonprofits

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  • Femida Handy

  • Narasimhan Srinivasan

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