Racial Group Affinity and Religious Giving: Evidence from Congregation-Level Panel Data
32 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2015
Date Written: December 30, 2014
Since giving to religious organizations constitutes a substantial portion of total charitable giving, an understanding of the determinants of religious giving is a vital policy concern. Drawing on a novel congregation-level panel dataset, we examine whether religious giving is driven by preferences for racial group affinity, that is, loyalty to one's own racial group. To address endogeneity concerns, we combine a fixed effects estimation framework with an instrumental variable approach. We find robust evidence consistent with the racial group affinity motive: a decrease in the percent of whites in the county is ceteris paribus associated with a decrease in the total giving receipts collected by predominantly white congregations.
Keywords: religious giving, racial group affinity, diversity, congregations
JEL Classification: D640, L310, Z120, J150
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