Occupation, Prestige, and Voluntary Work in Retirement: Empirical Evidence from Germany

Holger Lengfeld, Jessica Ordemann
2014 Social Science Research Network  
The paper examines the extent to which the prestige value of a retiree's former occupation increases the likelihood that they will make a transition into volunteering after retirement. From social production function theory, is it assumed that when a person retires, the prestige value attached to their former occupation fades. The fact that volunteering has the character of a collective good provides the opportunity to gain social prestige to offset the loss of occupational prestige. However,
more » ... e extent of the incentive to volunteer will be distributed unequally across occupations. The higher the former occupational prestige value, the higher the perceived loss of prestige after retirement. Thus, doing a job with high prestige value increases the incentive to volunteer in retirement. This assumption is tested, using data taken from the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) 1992-2013. The sample contains 1,631 workers and 589 retirees, 278 of whom transitioned into volunteering during the observation window. Regression analysis (complementary log-log hazard models) shows a positive effect of occupational prestige on the transition into volunteering.
doi:10.2139/ssrn.2501901 fatcat:3ig5s3cf6vde7p7fayoiarshgm