IZA DP No. 4424: Modelling Charitable Donations to an Unexpected Natural Disaster: Evidence from the U.S. Panel Study of Income Dynamics
published in: Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2012, 84 (1), 97-110
Using household-level data, we explore the relationship between donations to the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami disaster and other charitable donations. The empirical evidence suggests that donations specifically for the victims of the tsunami are positively associated with the amount previously donated to other charitable causes, which accords with complementary rather than substitution effects. This relationship exists when we decompose overall charitable donations into different types of philanthropy, with charitable contributions to caring, needy and religious organizations having the largest positive association with donations to the victims of the tsunami. When we explore the impact of donations to the victims of the tsunami on future donations to charity, however, our findings suggest an inverse relationship with the largest inverse association with donations to needy and caring organizations.