The philantropic poor: In search of explanations for the relative generosity of lower income households

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In this study we investigate the relationship between income and charitable giving. Previous research shows inconsistent findings regarding both the effect of income on the probability of giving and the proportion of income spent on charitable giving. We test hypotheses with the Giving in The Netherlands Panel Study 2003 (N = 1,316). We do not find an effect of income on the probability of giving, but a consistent negative effect of income on both total and religious donations as a proportion of income. This effect cannot be explained by stronger religious affiliation of lower income groups, or by other differences such as age, and price of giving. We find evidence in favor of a giving standard: Norms concerning the level of donations in specific situations that people in different income groups share, leading lower income groups to donate a higher proportion of their income. © International Society for Third Sector Research and The Johns Hopkins University 2007.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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