IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

The Happiness of Giving: Evidence from the German Socioeconomic Panel That Happier People Are More Generous

Listed author(s):
  • Silke Boenigk

    ()

    (University of Hamburg)

  • Marcel Lee Mayr

    ()

    (University of Hamburg)

Registered author(s):

    Abstract This study explores the causal direction between happiness and charitable giving. Through the application of Cohen’s path analysis, the main purpose of the study is to find evidence which of the possible causal directions—the one from giving to happiness or from happiness to giving—is the more dominant one. To that aim the authors use data from the German Socio-Economic Panel 2009/10. In a sample of 6906 donors, the relationships between monetary giving and life satisfaction were assed. Furthermore, we controlled for different variables such as age, gender, and marital status. Contradictory to the hypotheses development, the results of the Cohen’s path analysis indicate that the causal direction from happiness to charitable giving is the more dominant one. Through the study and our initial results we contribute to theory by highlighting the ambiguous causal relationship between the focal constructs and provide a statistical method to investigate such unclear causal relationships. We discuss how happiness, particularly the affective aspect, can be utilized by nonprofit managers to raise fundraising effectiveness and suggest areas for further research.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10902-015-9672-2
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Happiness Studies.

    Volume (Year): 17 (2016)
    Issue (Month): 5 (October)
    Pages: 1825-1846

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:spr:jhappi:v:17:y:2016:i:5:d:10.1007_s10902-015-9672-2
    DOI: 10.1007/s10902-015-9672-2
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springer.com

    Order Information: Web: http://www.springer.com/social+sciences/wellbeing+%26+quality-of-life/journal/10902/PS2

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as
    in new window


    1. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-1093, Nov.-Dec..
    2. Stephan Meier & Alois Stutzer, 2008. "Is Volunteering Rewarding in Itself?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(297), pages 39-59, February.
    3. Richard Ball & Kateryna Chernova, 2008. "Absolute Income, Relative Income, and Happiness," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 88(3), pages 497-529, September.
    4. Konow, James & Earley, Joseph, 2008. "The Hedonistic Paradox: Is homo economicus happier," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 1-33, February.
    5. Wendy Liu & Jennifer Aaker, 2008. "The Happiness of Giving: The Time-Ask Effect," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(3), pages 543-557, May.
    6. Sarstedt, Marko & Ringle, Christian M. & Smith, Donna & Reams, Russell & Hair, Joseph F., 2014. "Partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM): A useful tool for family business researchers," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 105-115.
    7. Susan Rose-Ackerman, 1996. "Altruism, Nonprofits, and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 701-728, June.
    8. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
    9. Lara Aknin & Elizabeth Dunn & Michael Norton, 2012. "Happiness Runs in a Circular Motion: Evidence for a Positive Feedback Loop between Prosocial Spending and Happiness," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 347-355, April.
    10. Manning, Willard G., 1998. "The logged dependent variable, heteroscedasticity, and the retransformation problem," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 283-295, June.
    11. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-1458, December.
    12. Harbaugh, William T., 1998. "What do donations buy?: A model of philanthropy based on prestige and warm glow," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 269-284, February.
    13. James Andreoni & Eleanor Brown & Isaac Rischall, 2003. "Charitable Giving by Married Couples Who Decides and Why Does it Matter?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(1).
    14. Ruut Veenhoven, 2010. "Greater Happiness for a Greater Number," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 11(5), pages 605-629, October.
    15. AlisonL. Booth & JanC. vanOurs, 2008. "Job Satisfaction and Family Happiness: The Part-Time Work Puzzle," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(526), pages 77-99, February.
    16. Smith, Vincent H. & Kehoe, Michael R. & Cremer, Mary E., 1995. "The private provision of public goods: Altruism and voluntary giving," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 107-126, September.
    17. Ambrose Leung & Cheryl Kier & Tak Fung & Linda Fung & Robert Sproule, 2011. "Searching for Happiness: The Importance of Social Capital," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 443-462, June.
    18. Miguel Lopes & Patricia Palma & Miguel e Cunha, 2011. "Tolerance is Not Enough: The Moderating Role of Optimism on Perceptions of Regional Economic Performance," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 102(2), pages 333-350, June.
    19. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-477, June.
    20. Simone Borghesi & Alessandro Vercelli, 2012. "Happiness And Health: Two Paradoxes," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(2), pages 203-233, April.
    21. Andreoni, James, 1993. "An Experimental Test of the Public-Goods Crowding-Out Hypothesis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1317-1327, December.
    22. Aaker, Jennifer L. & Akutsu, Satoshi, 2009. "Why Do People Give? The Role of Identity in Giving," Research Papers 2027, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    23. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
    24. Borgonovi, Francesca, 2008. "Doing well by doing good. The relationship between formal volunteering and self-reported health and happiness," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(11), pages 2321-2334, June.
    25. Jan Pflug, 2009. "Folk Theories of Happiness: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Conceptions of Happiness in Germany and South Africa," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 92(3), pages 551-563, July.
    26. Vadim Cherepanov & Tim Feddersen & Alvaro Sandroni, 2013. "Revealed preferences and aspirations in warm glow theory," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 54(3), pages 501-535, November.
    27. John Helliwell & Haifang Huang & Shun Wang, 2014. "Social Capital and Well-Being in Times of Crisis," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 145-162, February.
    28. Liu, Wendy & Aaker, Jennifer L., 2008. "The Happiness of Giving: The Time-Ask Effect," Research Papers 1998, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:jhappi:v:17:y:2016:i:5:d:10.1007_s10902-015-9672-2. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)

    or (Rebekah McClure)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.