Charitable Behaviour and the Big Five Personality Traits: Evidence from UK Panel Data

43 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2015

See all articles by Sarah Brown

Sarah Brown

University of Sheffield - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Karl Taylor

University of Sheffield - Department of Economics

Abstract

This paper investigates the association between personality traits and charitable behaviour, namely donations of time and money, using data from Understanding Society, the most recent large scale UK household longitudinal survey. Due to the censored nature of the outcome variables, i.e. some individuals do not engage in charitable behaviour, we employ censored quantile regression models. Personality traits are classified according to the 'Big Five' taxonomy: openness to experience; conscientiousness; extraversion; agreeableness; and neuroticism. The quantile approach allows us to explore the effect of personality traits across the entire distribution of charitable behaviour rather than just at the mean, which has generally been the case in the existing literature. In general, after conditioning on an extensive set of controls, conscientiousness and neuroticism are found to be inversely related to donating time and money, whilst openness to experience, which has a positive effect, is the dominant trait in terms of magnitude. Interestingly, personality traits are found to have a stronger association with donations of time and money at the extreme points of the distribution of donations relative to that at the median, thereby highlighting the additional information revealed by quantile approach.

Keywords: censored quantile regression, charitable donations, personality traits, volunteering

JEL Classification: C24, D03, H41, N3

Suggested Citation

Brown, Sarah and Taylor, Karl B., Charitable Behaviour and the Big Five Personality Traits: Evidence from UK Panel Data. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9318. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2656503

Sarah Brown (Contact Author)

University of Sheffield - Department of Economics

9 Mappin Street
Sheffield, S1 4DT
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Karl B. Taylor

University of Sheffield - Department of Economics ( email )

9 Mappin Street
Sheffield, S1 4DT
United Kingdom

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