Individualism, Economic Freedom, and Charitable Giving

51 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2021 Last revised: 7 Jul 2022

See all articles by Meina Cai

Meina Cai

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Gregory W. Caskey

The Citadel

Nick Cowen

School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Lincoln

Ilia Murtazashvili

University of Pittsburgh - Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili

University of Pittsburgh

Raufhon Salahodjaev

Tashkent State University of Economics

Date Written: May 28, 2021

Abstract

We investigate the role of individualistic social rules and norms in charitable giving. Individualism in market societies is often criticized as corrupting morality and discouraging charitable giving. We contest that view. We propose direct and indirect mechanisms through which that occurs. In the direct channel, individualism encourages self-interested giving. In the indirect channel, individualism contributes to charity by reinforcing economic freedom. We use evidence from a large cross-section of countries and several measures of individualism to investigate both channels. Our empirical findings confirm each channel and support the insights of classical liberals, such as Adam Smith and David Hume, and more recent studies in the humanomics tradition, which argues that there is virtue to individualism.

Keywords: Philanthropy, Culture, Individualism, Institutions, Classical Liberalism

JEL Classification: B52, D64, D31, L14

Suggested Citation

Cai, Meina and Caskey, Gregory W. and Cowen, Nick and Murtazashvili, Ilia and Murtazashvili, Jennifer Brick and Salahodjaev, Raufhon, Individualism, Economic Freedom, and Charitable Giving (May 28, 2021). Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3855820 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3855820

Meina Cai

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Gregory W. Caskey (Contact Author)

The Citadel ( email )

171 Moultrie St.
Charleston, SC 29409
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.gregcaskey.com

Nick Cowen

School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Lincoln ( email )

Lincoln LN2
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://ulincoln.academia.edu/NickCowen

Ilia Murtazashvili

University of Pittsburgh - Graduate School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15260-0001
United States

Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili

University of Pittsburgh

Raufhon Salahodjaev

Tashkent State University of Economics

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