Is There a Subjective Well-Being Premium in Voluntary Sector Employment?

Daiga Kamerāde, Stephen Mckay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
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Previous studies have found that employment in the voluntary sector offers a so-called ‘job satisfaction premium’: despite lower salaries, voluntary sector employees are more satisfied with their jobs than workers in other sectors. This paper examines whether voluntary sector employees also experience a subjective well-being premium. Using data from the UK Annual Population Survey 2012/2013, we find that voluntary sector employees do have higher levels of subjective well-being but this subjective well-being premium is not evenly distributed between men and women. While both men and women in the voluntary sector experience higher levels of fulfilment than private sector employees, only men have higher levels of happiness and life satisfaction. Women in the voluntary sector have lower life satisfaction than their public sector counterparts. We discuss the implications of our findings for policy and practice in the voluntary sector in the UK.
Original languageEnglish
Early online date10 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • subjective well-being
  • gender
  • employment
  • voluntary sector
  • non-profit sector


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