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The Philanthropic Poor: In Search of Explanations for the Relative Generosity of Lower Income Households

Abstract

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.

Résumé

Dans cette étude nous allons analyser la relation entre le revenu et les dons charitables. Des recherches qui ont été menées auparavant montrent des résultats inconsistants concernant à la fois l’effet du revenu sur la probabilité des dons et la proportion du revenu accordé aux dons charitables. Nous testons les hypothèses des dons des Pays-Bas en 2003 (N=1,316). Nous ne trouvons pas un effet du revenu sur la probabilité des dons, mais un effet négatif consistant du revenu sur à la fois les donations totales et donations religieuses en tant que proportion du revenu. Cet effet ne peut pas être expliqué par l’affiliation religieuse plus forte des groupes aux revenus les plus bas ou par d’autres différences comme l’âge et le montant de la donation. Nous trouvons des preuves qui vont dans le sens d’un standard du don: Les normes à propos du niveau des donations dans des situations spécifiques indiquent que parmi les personnes appartenant à différents groupes de revenu, les groupes aux revenus les plus bas tendent à donner une proportion plus importante de leur revenu.

Zusammenfassung

In dieser Studie wird die Beziehung zwischen Einkommen und der Bereitschaft zu wohltätigen Spenden untersucht. Vorherige Untersuchungen führten zu inkonsistenten Ergebnissen hinsichtlich der Auswirkung des Einkommens auf die Wahrscheinlichkeit der Spendenbereitschaft und des für wohltätige Spenden aufgebrachten Einkommensanteils. Es werden Hypothesen anhand einer Studie von 2003 zur Spendenbereitschaft in den Niederlanden (N=1.316) (Giving The Netherlands Panel Study 2003) überprüft. Dabei ist kein Zusammenhang erkennbar zwischen dem Einkommen und der Wahrscheinlichkeit der Spendenbereitschaft, wohl aber eine konsistent negative Auswirkung des Einkommens auf religiöse Spenden und Spenden insgesamt als Teil des Einkommens. Diese Auswirkung lässt sich nicht anhand erhöhter Religionszugehörigkeit der Bevölkerungsgruppen mit geringerem Einkommen erklären oder auf sonstige Unterschiede zurückführen, wie Alter oder Spendenhöhe. Es gibt Anhaltspunkte für einen Spendenstandard: Maßstäbe hinsichtlich der Spendenhöhe in spezifischen Situationen, die für Personen aus unterschiedlichen Einkommensgruppen gleich sind, führen dazu, dass Gruppen mit geringerem Einkommen einen größeren Anteil ihres Einkommens spenden.

Resumen

En este estudio analizamos la relación entre la renta y las donaciones de caridad. Anteriores investigaciones apuntan a resultados inconsistentes en cuanto al efecto de la renta sobre la probabilidad de donar y la proporción de la renta destinada a donaciones de caridad. Probamos diversas hipótesis con el Estudio del Panel 2003 de Donaciones en los Países Bajos (N=1,316). No hemos encontrado que la renta afecte la probabilidad de donar, pero sí hemos observado un efecto negativo y consistente de las rentas altas tanto en las donaciones totales como religiosas en cuanto a la proporción. Este efecto no puede explicarse por una afiliación religiosa más fuerte de los grupos con rentas más bajas, ni por otras diferencias como la edad o la cantidad donada. Hemos encontrado pruebas que apoyan un patrón de donación: las normas sobre el nivel de las donaciones en situaciones específicas compartidas por personas de distintos grupos de renta hacen que los grupos con rentas más bajas donen una proporción más alta de su renta.

摘要

在本次研究中,我们调查了收入和慈善捐助之间的关系。上述调查表明了一些并不一致的发现,是有关收入对捐助可能性的影响以及慈善费用占收入的比例的。我们利用有关捐助的荷兰追踪资料(N=1,316)来验证一些假设。我们并没有发现收入对慈善捐助可能性所产生的影响,但是却发现了根据所占比例而言,收入对慈善捐助无论是总额还是单指宗教捐款都呈现稳定的反比例效应。这一效应不能归结为是由于低收入群体更为强烈的宗教归属感,也不能认为是由于年龄不同,捐助价格不同而造成的。我们发现了支持捐助标准的证据: 不同收入群体都遵从的有关捐助程度的标准,这一标准导致了较低收入群体捐助了相对而言较高比例的收入。

要約

本論文では、収入と慈善事業への関わり合いを研究する。先行研究では、慈善事業参加への可能性および慈善事業参加における消費収入の割合に関して矛盾した調査結果が出ていた。このため、オランダパネル研究発表2003(N=1,316)の仮説を検証する。慈善事業参加における収入の格差は見られないが、収入の割合では総合的な寄付および宗教法人への寄付にはマイナスが出ている。これには、低所得層における宗教組織、または年齢や寄付金などのデータは提示されていない。このため寄付の基準を支持する証拠を検証する。異なる所得階層の人々が特定の状況において寄付基準の指標となることで、低所得階層のグループを導き、収入の大部分を寄付する点を考察する。

ملخص

في هذه الدراسه نحن نبحث العلاقه بين الدخل والعطاء الخيري . البحث السابق يبين نتائج متضاربه بخصوص تأثير الدخل على إحتمال العطاء والنسبه من الدخل التي تم إنفاقها على العطاء الخيري . نحن نختبر النظريات مع العطاء في دراسه لجنه خبراء هولندا 2003 (N=1,316 ) . نحن لا نجد تأثير الدخل على إحتمال العطاء ٬ لكن تأثير الدخل السلبي الثابت على التبرعات الكليه والدينيه كنسبه من الدخل. هذا التأثير لا يمكن تفسيره بواسطه متدينون شديدي التدين ينتمون لمجموعات ذات دخل ضعيف ٬ أو بأي إختلافات أخرى مثل العمر أو ثمن العطاء . نحن نجد أدله لصالح معايير العطاء : قواعد إزاء مستوى التبرعات في حالات محدده التي يشارك فيها ناس في مجموعات دخل مختلفه٬ تؤدي إلى تبرع المجموعات ذات الدخل الضعيف بنسبه مرتفعه من دخلهم .

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Notes

  1. Door-to-door collections are very common in The Netherlands; no less than 91% of the households made a donation in 2003 by means of a door-to-door collection (Schuyt and Gouwenberg 2005).

  2. The high response rates can be explained by the general high compliance rate among respondents participating in the TNS-NIPO panel. The use of this panel also has a downside, as it is likely that people who voluntary register to regularly participate in survey research are likely to have more pro-social characteristics, related to the dependent variable in our research, charitable giving. The GINPS sample is therefore likely to be selective to some extent on pro-social characteristics. Although this affects the descriptive results, it is unlikely that the multivariate results are biased.

  3. These ten categories of charitable causes are: Religion, Health, International Aid, Environment/Nature Protection, Animal Protection, Education/Research, Culture, Sports/Recreation, Public/Social Benefits, and Other (unspecified, including Service Clubs).

  4. There are also some very large proportional donors in the GINPS03 data. Two households indicated to have donated more than 20% of their income to all charitable organizations, and six households donated more than 20% to religious organizations. We performed the Heckman Two Stage also without these most generous households; this did not alter the conclusions. We did exclude these households from the bivariate statistics (Figs. 2 and 3).

  5. Annual yearly household income is multiplied by .69 in order to estimate after-tax household income. This is an estimated gross-net transfer formula for Dutch income data (Goudswaard et al. 2004).

  6. We are aware of the potential problems caused by respondents not reporting their after-tax income. Therefore we performed analyses with: (a) annual gross yearly household income in 2003; (b) annual yearly household income in 2001 (with GINPS01; containing data about household donating behaviour in 2001); and (c) average annual yearly household income between 2001 and 2003 as a measure of permanent income. These analyses yielded similar results (results available from the author).

  7. The mean total and religious donations for the different income groups were calculated using only donors (non-donors were excluded). This is, for example, why the mean religious donation for households with an income between €11,001 and €15,000 is higher than the mean total donation for this income category (their mean religious donation among religious donors is €273, compared to a mean total donation of €203 among all donors).

  8. In GINPS03 there are five households (less than 1%) that have an after-tax income of over €100,000 a year.

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Wiepking, P. The Philanthropic Poor: In Search of Explanations for the Relative Generosity of Lower Income Households. Voluntas 18, 339 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-007-9049-1

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Keywords

  • Charitable giving
  • Philanthropy
  • Income
  • Donations
  • The Netherlands