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Inequality and Altruism: Explore the Effect of Inequality on Charitable Giving Across Countries Open Access

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Income inequality is different across countries as well as other economic, political and cultural factors. The mainly purpose of this paper was to explore the relationship between income inequality and three measures of altruism across different countries. The three measures of altruism are helping strangers, volunteering one’s time to an organization and donating money. Data of this paper are mainly from Gallup World Poll and World Bank Development Indicator. First, this paper finds people living in more unequal countries are more likely to choose volunteering their time to an organization and helping strangers rather than donating money as their charity behavior. Becker’s time allocation model has been used to interpret this result. Second, this paper also verifies previous literature that welfare states have no crowd out effect on charitable giving from the coefficient of a public total expenditure regressor. Third, this paper using country-level data verifies individual-level studies that donating money and volunteering one’s time to an organization are complements. Further studies are needed for data integrity and to investigate the effects of internal remittances and tax deduction on charitable giving across countries.

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