Working Paper

On the Up: Voluntary Sector Wages in the UK 1998 - 2007



Rutherford AC (2010) On the Up: Voluntary Sector Wages in the UK 1998 - 2007. Stirling Economics Discussion Paper, 2010-06.

Since 1997 the UK Government has sought to expand the provision of public services by the independent nonprofit sector. With policies to build the capacity of the sector, public spending on voluntary organisations has grown from £2 billion in 1996/97 to £6.88 billion in 2005/06. Theory suggests that the comparative advantage of nonprofits lies in the mission-motivation of those who work in them, and predicts that motivated workers will accept lower wages. We examine sector wage differentials in time-series to show that growth in voluntary sector wages has outpaced the private and public sectors. This state intervention in the market has had big consequences for the make-up of the voluntary sector workforce.

Compensating Wage; Warm Glow; Nonprofit; Voluntary Sector; Voluntarism Management; Nonprofit organizations; Wage differentials

JEL codes

  • J21: Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
  • J31: Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
  • H44: Publicly Provided Goods: Mixed Markets

Title of seriesStirling Economics Discussion Paper
Number in series2010-06
Publication date online01/03/2010

People (1)


Professor Alasdair Rutherford

Professor Alasdair Rutherford

Professor, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology