The Relationship Between Happiness, Volunteering, and Donating

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Leonid Krasnozhon John Levendis


This paper uses an ordinal logit model estimated using data from four waves of the General Social Survey to examine the robustness of the purported relationship between happiness and the prosocial giving of time or money. Results from our study imply that the standard economic variables are more important than giving or donating; income is positively associated with happiness, while unemployment in the past ten years is negatively associated with happiness. We find evidence that happiness is more closely correlated with volunteering than with donating money. Finally, this study suggests that volunteering and charitable donation are only loosely associated with happiness after controlling for socioeconomic factors, such as income, unemployment, race, and gender. (I30, I31, Z1, Z13)

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