IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/wly/canjec/v48y2015i2p793-818.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Does income inequality increase charitable giving?

Author

Listed:
  • A. Abigail Payne
  • Justin Smith

Abstract

Do households react to changes in the distribution of income in their localities by changing their charitable giving? The theoretical prediction of the effects of income inequality on giving is unclear. We study how changes in income inequality measured at the neighbourhood and municipality levels affect charitable giving by households in Canada between 1991 and 2006. We find that increases in inequality increase giving. Results are sensitive to the geographic dispersion of low‐ and high‐income households in neighbourhoods within a municipality. The effect on donations is smaller in areas with high levels of inequality at both neighbourhood and municipality levels. Est‐ce que l'inégalité des revenus accroît les dons de charité? Est‐ce que les ménages réagissent aux changement dans la distribution des revenus dans leurs localités en modifiant leurs dons de charité? Les prédictions théoriques des effets de l'inégalité de revenus ne sont pas claires. On étudie comment les changements dans l'inégalité mesurée des revenus, au niveau du voisinage et de la municipalité, ont affecté les dons de charité des ménages au Canada entre 1991 et 2006. On découvre que l'accroissement de l'inégalité accroît les dons. Les résultats sont sensibles à la dispersion géographique des ménages à bas et hauts revenus dans les voisinages à l'intérieur des municipalités. L'effet sur les dons est faible dans les espaces où il y a hauts niveaux d'inégalité à la fois au niveau du voisinage et de la municipalité.

Suggested Citation

  • A. Abigail Payne & Justin Smith, 2015. "Does income inequality increase charitable giving?," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 48(2), pages 793-818, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:canjec:v:48:y:2015:i:2:p:793-818
    DOI: 10.1111/caje.12144
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/caje.12144
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1111/caje.12144?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 115(3), pages 847-904.
    2. Fisher, Joseph & Isaac, R. Mark & Schatzberg, Jeffrey W & Walker, James M., 1995. "Heterogenous Demand for Public Goods: Behavior in the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 85(3-4), pages 249-266, December.
    3. Rapoport, Amnon & Suleiman, Ramzi, 1993. "Incremental Contribution in Step-Level Public Goods Games with Asymmetric Players," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 171-194, July.
    4. Angus Deaton, 2001. "Relative Deprivation, Inequality, and Mortality," NBER Working Papers 8099, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Christian Kleiber, 2008. "A Guide to the Dagum Distributions," Economic Studies in Inequality, Social Exclusion, and Well-Being, in: Duangkamon Chotikapanich (ed.), Modeling Income Distributions and Lorenz Curves, chapter 6, pages 97-117, Springer.
    6. R. Mark Isaac & James M. Walker, 1988. "Group Size Effects in Public Goods Provision: The Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 103(1), pages 179-199.
    7. Bagnoli, Mark & McKee, Michael, 1991. "Voluntary Contribution Games: Efficient Private Provision of Public Goods," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(2), pages 351-366, April.
    8. Kenneth Chan & Stuart Mestelman & Robert Moir & R. Muller, 1999. "Heterogeneity and the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 2(1), pages 5-30, August.
    9. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Who trusts others?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 207-234, August.
    10. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
    11. van Dijk, Eric & Grodzka, Malgorzata, 1992. "The influence of endowments asymmetry and information level on the contribution to a public step good," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 329-342, June.
    12. Kenneth S. Chan & Stuart Mestelman & Rob Moir & R. Andrew Muller Moir, 1996. "The Voluntary Provision of Public Goods under Varying Income Distributions," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(1), pages 54-69, February.
    13. Marc Frenette & David A. Green & Kevin Milligan, 2009. "Taxes, Transfers, and Canadian Income Inequality," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 35(4), pages 389-411, December.
    14. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284.
    15. repec:pri:cheawb:deaton_relative_deprivation.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Nicole Fortin & David A. Green & Thomas Lemieux & Kevin Milligan & W. Craig Riddell, 2012. "Canadian Inequality: Recent Developments and Policy Options," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 38(2), pages 121-145, June.
    17. Fajnzylber, Pablo & Lederman, Daniel & Loayza, Norman, 2002. "Inequality and Violent Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(1), pages 1-40, April.
    18. Jennifer M. Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 2002. "Income Inequality and Health Status in the United States: Evidence from the Current Population Survey," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(3), pages 510-539.
    19. Anderson, Lisa R. & Mellor, Jennifer M. & Milyo, Jeffrey, 2008. "Inequality and public good provision: An experimental analysis," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 1010-1028, June.
    20. Lindert, Peter H., 1996. "What Limits Social Spending?," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 1-34, January.
    21. Kevin Milligan, 2013. "Income Inequality and Income Taxation in Canada: Trends in the Census 1980-2005," SPP Research Papers, The School of Public Policy, University of Calgary, vol. 6(24), August.
    22. Morgan Kelly, 2000. "Inequality And Crime," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 530-539, November.
    23. A. Abigail Payne, 2012. "Changing Landscapes for Charities in Canada: Where Should We Go?," SPP Research Papers, The School of Public Policy, University of Calgary, vol. 5(34), November.
    24. Juan-Camilo Cardenas, 2002. "Real wealth and experimental cooperation: Evidence from field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00019, The Field Experiments Website.
    25. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E., 1996. "Ends against the middle: Determining public service provision when there are private alternatives," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 297-325, November.
    26. Sean Corcoran & William N. Evans, 2010. "Income Inequality, the Median Voter, and the Support for Public Education," NBER Working Papers 16097, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    27. Cardenas, Juan-Camilo, 2003. "Real wealth and experimental cooperation: experiments in the field lab," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 263-289, April.
    28. Leah Boustan & Fernando Ferreira & Hernan Winkler & Eric M. Zolt, 2013. "The Effect of Rising Income Inequality on Taxation and Public Expenditures: Evidence from U.S. Municipalities and School Districts, 1970–2000," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 1291-1302, October.
    29. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-927, October.
    30. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2003. "Understanding the American Decline in Social Capital, 1952–1998," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(1), pages 17-46, February.
    31. Buckley, Edward & Croson, Rachel, 2006. "Income and wealth heterogeneity in the voluntary provision of linear public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 935-955, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Duquette, Nicolas J., 2018. "Inequality and philanthropy: High-income giving in the United States 1917–2012," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 25-41.
    2. Cha, Moon-Kyung & Yi, Youjae & Lee, Jaehoon, 2020. "When people low in social class become a persuasive source of communication: Social class of other donors and charitable donations," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 45-55.
    3. Duquette, Nicolas J. & Hargaden, Enda P., 2021. "Inequality and giving," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 186(C), pages 189-200.
    4. Jackson, Jeremy & Beaulier, Scott, 2023. "Economic freedom and philanthropy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 214(C), pages 148-183.
    5. Nicolas J. Duquette & Enda Hargaden, 2018. "Inequality, Social Distance, and Giving," Working Papers 2018-03, University of Tennessee, Department of Economics.
    6. Suss, Joel H., 2023. "Higher income individuals are more generous when local economic inequality is high," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 119632, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Cai, Meina & Caskey, Gregory W. & Cowen, Nick & Murtazashvili, Ilia & Murtazashvili, Jennifer Brick & Salahodjaev, Raufhon, 2022. "Individualism, economic freedom, and charitable giving," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 200(C), pages 868-884.
    8. Hossein Sabzian & Alireza Aliahmadi & Adel Azar & Madjid Mirzaee, 2018. "Economic inequality and Islamic Charity: An exploratory agent-based modeling approach," Papers 1804.09284, arXiv.org.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Anderson, Lisa R. & Mellor, Jennifer M. & Milyo, Jeffrey, 2008. "Inequality and public good provision: An experimental analysis," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 1010-1028, June.
    2. Lisa R. Anderson & Jennifer M. Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 2003. "Inequality, Group Cohesion, and Public Good Provision: An Experimental Analysis," Working Papers 0308, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
    3. Felix Koelle, 2012. "Heterogeneity and Cooperation in Privileged Groups: The Role of Capability and Valuation on Public Goods Provision," Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series 03-08, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences.
    4. Andreas Löschel & Dirk Rübbelke, 2014. "On the Voluntary Provision of International Public Goods," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 81(322), pages 195-204, April.
    5. Abhijit Ramalingam & Brock V. Stoddard, 2021. "Does reducing inequality increase cooperation?​," GRU Working Paper Series GRU_2021_022, City University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics and Finance, Global Research Unit.
    6. Leah Platt Boustan & Fernando Ferreira & Hernan Winkler & Eric Zolt, 2010. "Income Inequality and Local Government in the United States, 1970-2000," NBER Working Papers 16299, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Kölle, Felix, 2015. "Heterogeneity and cooperation: The role of capability and valuation on public goods provision," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 120-134.
    8. Sean Corcoran & William N. Evans, 2010. "Income Inequality, the Median Voter, and the Support for Public Education," NBER Working Papers 16097, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Christopher Oconnor & Li Zhang & Cary Deck, 2022. "An examination of the effect of inequality on lotteries for funding public goods," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 24(4), pages 733-755, August.
    10. Neslihan Uler, 2011. "Public goods provision, inequality and taxes," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(3), pages 287-306, September.
    11. Fangfang Tan, 2008. "Punishment in a Linear Public Good Game with Productivity Heterogeneity," De Economist, Springer, vol. 156(3), pages 269-293, September.
    12. Markussen, Thomas & Sharma, Smriti & Singhal, Saurabh & Tarp, Finn, 2021. "Inequality, institutions and cooperation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 138(C).
    13. Paetzel, Fabian & Traub, Stefan, 2017. "Skewness-adjusted social preferences: Experimental evidence on the relation between inequality, elite behavior, and economic efficiency," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 130-139.
    14. Agathe Rouaix & Charles Figuières & Marc Willinger, 2015. "The trade-off between welfare and equality in a public good experiment," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 45(3), pages 601-623, October.
    15. Visser, M. & Burns, J., 2015. "Inequality, social sanctions and cooperation within South African fishing communities," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 95-109.
    16. Nicolas J. Duquette & Enda Hargaden, 2018. "Inequality, Social Distance, and Giving," Working Papers 2018-03, University of Tennessee, Department of Economics.
    17. Andre Hofmeyr & Justine Burns & Martine Visser, 2007. "Income Inequality, Reciprocity And Public Good Provision: An Experimental Analysis," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 75(3), pages 508-520, September.
    18. Ramalingam, Abhijit & Stoddard, Brock V., 2024. "Does reducing inequality increase cooperation?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 217(C), pages 170-183.
    19. Visser, Martine & Burns, Justine, 2013. "Inequality, Social Sanctions and Cooperation within South African Fishing," SALDRU Working Papers 117, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    20. R. Mark Isaac & Douglas A. Norton & Svetlana Pevnitskaya, 2019. "A new experimental mechanism to investigate polarized demands for public goods: the effects of censoring," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 22(3), pages 585-609, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:canjec:v:48:y:2015:i:2:p:793-818. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley Content Delivery (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://doi.org/10.1111/(ISSN)1540-5982 .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.