Faith, Hope, and Christian Charity: How Religion Explains Giving When Warm Glow and Impure Altruism Do Not
52 Pages Posted: 3 May 2018
Date Written: April 17, 2018
Many charities, especially religious ones, spend significantly to improve poor community members' living standards. Conventional theoretical philanthropy models with altruism or impure altruism/warm glow cannot explain poverty-alleviating private transfers in the type and size of communities where this occurs - e.g., congregations. However, if preferences reflect religious precepts ("you are your brother's keeper"; "treat neighbours like yourself"), charitable poverty alleviation can be optimal even in large communities. Income and price elasticities for giving prove important. Surprisingly, charitable private transfers are less likely when donors care for recipients' living standard instead of the aggregate amount all recipients get.
Keywords: Religion, philanthropy, warm-glow, impure altruism, poverty alleviation
JEL Classification: D39, D64, H40, I39, Z12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation