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Diversity and Donations: The Effect of Religious and Ethnic Diversity on Charitable Giving

Author

Listed:
  • James Andreoni
  • Abigail Payne
  • Justin D. Smith
  • David Karp

Abstract

We explore the effects of local ethnic and religious diversity on individual donations to private charities. Using 10-year neighborhood-level panels derived from personal tax records in Canada, we find that diversity has a detrimental effect on charitable donations. A 10 percentage point increase in ethnic diversity reduces donations by 14%, and a 10 percentage point increase in religious diversity reduces donations by 10%. The ethnic diversity effect is driven by a within-group disposition among non-minorities, and is most evident in high income, but low education areas. The religious diversity effect is driven by a within-group disposition among Catholics, and is concentrated in high income and high education areas. Despite these large effects on amount donated, we find no evidence that increasing diversity affects the fraction of households that donate. Over the period studied, ethnic diversity rises by 6 percentage points and religious diversity rises by 4 percentage points; our results suggest that charities receive about 12% less in total donations. As areas like North America continue to grow more diverse over time, our results imply that these demographic changes may have significant implications for the charitable sector.

Suggested Citation

  • James Andreoni & Abigail Payne & Justin D. Smith & David Karp, 2011. "Diversity and Donations: The Effect of Religious and Ethnic Diversity on Charitable Giving," NBER Working Papers 17618, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17618
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    Cited by:

    1. Rose Anne Devlin & Wenzhuo Zhao, 2016. "Philanthropic Behaviour of Quebecers," Working Papers 1607E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    2. Lücke, Matthias & Omar Mahmoud, Toman & Peuker, Christian, 2012. "Identifying the motives of migrant philanthropy," Kiel Working Papers 1790, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    3. Benos, Nikos & Kammas, Pantelis, 2018. "Workers of the world unite (or not?) The effect of ethnic diversity on the participation in trade unions," MPRA Paper 84880, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Matz Dahlberg & Karin Edmark & Heléne Lundqvist, 2012. "Ethnic Diversity and Preferences for Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(1), pages 41-76.
    5. Michael Insler & Bryce McMurrey & Alexander F. McQuoid, 2016. "From Broken Windows to Broken Bonds: Militarized Police and Social Fragmentation," Departmental Working Papers 53, United States Naval Academy Department of Economics.
    6. Dimitrova-Grajzl Valentina & Grajzl Peter & Guse A. Joseph & Smith J. Taylor, 2016. "Racial Group Affinity and Religious Giving: Evidence from Congregation-Level Panel Data," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(2), pages 689-725, April.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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