The relation between income and donations as a portion of income revisited: literature review and empirical application

Activity: Talk or presentationScience to science


Previous research addressing the relation between income and donations as a proportion of income has revealed predominantly inconsistent results. In this article, we argue that this can partly be explained by the great variance of methodological approaches. Providing a literature review covering 24 studies, we systematically identify how methodological issues such as data, variables and methods have impacted former findings. Additionally, we apply different methodological approaches to Austrian income tax data (n = 20,000), demonstrating how different methods lead to a variation in results. Overall, we show that existing studies are hardly comparable as their designs vary immensely. We point out that it is particularly important to use samples with sufficient cases of all income groups and methods that adequately account for the non-linear relation between the two variables, not restricting it to a u-shape. Our findings enable a better understanding and interpretation of diverging findings in philanthropic research.
Period4 Jul 20195 Jul 2019
Event titleERNOP 9th International Conference
Event typeUnkonwn
Degree of RecognitionInternational

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 509012 Social policy
  • 502023 NPO research