fbpx The Link Between Income, Income Inequality, and Prosocial Behavior Around the World - Ashley Whillans | Harvard Kennedy School

Additional Authors:

  • Ashley Whillans


January 10, 2022, Paper: "The questions of whether high-income individuals are more prosocial than low-income individuals and whether income inequality moderates this effect have received extensive attention. We shed new light on this topic by analyzing a large-scale dataset with a representative sample of respondents from 133 countries (N = 948,837). We conduct a multiverse analysis with 30 statistical models: 15 models predicting the likelihood of donating money to charity and 15 models predicting the likelihood of volunteering time to an organization. Across all model specifications, high-income individuals were more likely to donate their money and volunteer their time than low-income individuals. High-income individuals were more likely to engage in prosocial behavior under high (vs. low) income inequality. Avenues for future research and potential mechanisms are discussed."

Non-HKS Author Website - Ashley Whillans