Preach What You Practice? Donating Behaviour of Parents and Their Offspring

Sarah Brown, Preety Srivastava, Karl Taylor

Abstract

Using data drawn from the U.S. Panel Study of Income Dynamics, we explore the relationship between the donating behaviour of parents and that of their children aged less than 18. Furthermore, we exploit information relating to whether or not parents encourage their children to donate to charity in order to unveil information related to the intergenerational transmission of philanthropic behaviour. Our findings suggest that whether a child donates to charity is influenced by positive effects from whether the parent donates to charity as well as from whether the parent talks to their child about donating to charity. In addition, whether the parent donates to charity has an indirect influence via its positive effect on the probability that the parent talks to the child about donating to charity. Further, we find that the influence of whether the parent donates to charity on the probability that the child donates to charity is particularly heightened in terms of both magnitude and statistical significance in the context of parental donations to religious causes.