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Charitable Giving Expenditures and the Faith Factor


  • Vince E. Showers
  • Linda S. Showers
  • Jeri M. Beggs
  • James E. Cox, Jr


Using a permanent income hypothesis approach and an income-giving status interaction effect, a double hurdle model provides evidence of significant differences from the impact of household income and various household characteristics on both a household's likelihood of giving and its level of giving to religion, charity, education, others outside the household, and politics. An analysis of resulting income elasticity estimates revealed that households consider religious giving a necessity good at all levels of income, while other categories of giving are generally found to be luxury goods. Further, those who gave to religion were found to give more to education and charity then those not giving to religion, and higher education households were more likely to give to religion than households with less education. This analysis suggests that there may be more to religious giving behavior than has been assumed in prior studies and underscores the need for further research into the motivation for religious giving. Specifically, these findings point to an enduring, internal motivation for giving rather than an external, “What do I get for what I give,” motive.

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  • Vince E. Showers & Linda S. Showers & Jeri M. Beggs & James E. Cox, Jr, 2011. "Charitable Giving Expenditures and the Faith Factor," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(1), pages 152-186, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ajecsc:v:70:y:2011:i:1:p:152-186

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Corrigenda [Introduction to the Economics of Religion]," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 1941-1941, December.
    2. Milton Friedman, 1957. "Introduction to "A Theory of the Consumption Function"," NBER Chapters,in: A Theory of the Consumption Function, pages 1-6 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Brown, Eleanor & Lankford, Hamilton, 1992. "Gifts of money and gifts of time estimating the effects of tax prices and available time," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 321-341, April.
    4. Milton Friedman, 1957. "A Theory of the Consumption Function," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie57-1, January.
    5. Warren B. Hrung, 2004. "After-Life Consumption and Charitable Giving," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(3), pages 731-745, July.
    6. Cragg, John G, 1971. "Some Statistical Models for Limited Dependent Variables with Application to the Demand for Durable Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(5), pages 829-844, September.
    7. Azzi, Corry & Ehrenberg, Ronald G, 1975. "Household Allocation of Time and Church Attendance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(1), pages 27-56, February.
    8. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Phanindra V. Wunnava & Albert A. Okunade, 2013. "Do Business Executives Give More to Their Alma Mater? Longitudinal Evidence from a Large University," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 72(3), pages 761-778, July.
    2. Matthias Tietz & Simon Parker, 2014. "Charitable donations by the self-employed," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 43(4), pages 899-916, December.
    3. Helms, Sara E. & Thornton, Jeremy P., 2012. "The influence of religiosity on charitable behavior: A COPPS investigation," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 373-383.

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