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The best is yet to come: The impact of retirement on prosocial behavior

Georganas, S., Laliotis, I. ORCID: 0000-0002-8206-044X & Velias, A. (2022). The best is yet to come: The impact of retirement on prosocial behavior. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 196, pp. 589-615. doi: 10.1016/j.jebo.2022.02.019


This paper examines how retirement affects prosociality. We show that this important lifestyle change leads to increased volunteering and to a more altruistic behavior. We use a novel combination of representative cross-sectional and longitudinal individual-level survey data from 22 European countries, and a complementary incentivised field experiment on a large representative sample of individuals. The retirement effect on volunteering is strong in the survey data, and using the field experiment we document a comparable result. Moreover, the evidence from the experiment data suggests that this change is not just attributable to external factors, such as lower need for virtue signalling or an increased leisure budget, but suggests an overall change in prosociality. Given the ageing of the population these are policy-relevant findings. The welfare gain driven by increased prosociality, through increased volunteering and transfers, should be considered in retirement age reforms.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2022. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Publisher Keywords: Retirement, Prosocial behavior, Volunteering, Charity
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Economics
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of RetireesAndProsociality.pdf]
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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