Environmental Economics and Policy Studies

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 477–502 | Cite as

Which is greener: secularity or religiosity? Environmental philanthropy along religiosity spectrum

  • Maryam DilmaghaniEmail author
Research Article


Using a large, nationally representative Canadian survey (N = 12,922), this paper investigates how religiosity associates with environmental philanthropy. Based on the degree of religiosity, the population is divided into five mutually exclusive segments of very religious, average religiosity, nominal affiliate, unchurched believer, and strictly secular. The analysis shows that the individuals identified as very religious contribute the least amount of money to environmental causes, while the unchurched believers are the most generous. The investigation also shows that among various dimensions of religiosity, only religious attendance is statistically significantly associated with environmental philanthropy. The effect of religious attendance is, however, negative for monetary contribution and positive for volunteerism. Finally, the contribution of money to religious organizations negatively associates with environmental giving, while donation to secular causes predicts a higher level of monetary giving to environmental organizations. Various implications are discussed.


Religiosity Secularity Environmental giving Environmental volunteerism 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares no conflict of interest.


This study was not funded.

Studies involves human or animals participants

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Not applicable.


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Copyright information

© Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics, Sobey School of BusinessSaint Mary’s UniversityHalifaxCanada

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