Wage dispersion in non-profit organizations. Do volunteers, donations and public subsidies have an impact?

Astrid Haider, Ulrike Schneider

Publication: Working/Discussion PaperWU Working Paper


Existing research in labor economics has rarely accounted for non-profit status in examining wage dispersion. Contrariwise, in non-profit sector research, little has been said so far about (intra-organizational) wage dispersion. Scattered findings from previous work indicate that wage dispersion is smaller in non-profit organizations (NPOs) as compared to for-profits (FPOs). Fairness perceptions and high moral ideals of workers within this sector are often cited as reasons for this assumption. Empirically, however, the reasons for inter-sectoral differences remain obscure. In our analysis, we concentrate on specific characteristics of NPOs as compared to FPOs. More specifically, this paper is to address the question if volunteer workers, donations and public subsidies influence the within-firm wage dispersion in NPOs. In order to answer this research question we use Austrian matched employer-employee data collected in 2006. We estimate an instrument variable regression and find that NPOs that employ volunteer workers and NPOs with a more even mix between paid and unpaid staff display smaller wage dispersion. Donations and public subsidies augment the wage dispersion. (author's abstract)
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationVienna
PublisherInstitut für Sozialpolitik, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Publication series

NameWorking Papers / Institut für Sozialpolitik

WU Working Paper Series

  • Working Papers / Institut für Sozialpolitik

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