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'Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.' A BHPS study of the interaction between giving and welfare

Lorna Zischka (), Mark Casson () and Marina Della Giusta
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Lorna Zischka: Department of Economics, University of Reading

No em-dp2016-10, Economics Discussion Papers from Department of Economics, University of Reading

Abstract: This paper analyses the interaction between individual giving and individual welfare. 'Giving' includes volunteering, engagement in community groups and hospitality. 'Welfare' includes life-satisfaction, trust, liking for one's neighbourhood and crime fears. From British longitudinal data, time lags were used to establish the direction of causality. A two-way process was identified: people who were part of giving networks in the first 5 years of the study became better off by the end of 10 years, but also being better off made it more likely that people increased their giving over time. The existence of lags in both equations makes the system dynamic, suggesting that a favourable social environment cues prosocial behaviours, and these prosocial behaviours then go on to maintain and improve the social environment. The existence of giving behaviours indicates the prosocial nature of civic sector interactions, and these contribute to welfare through the cycle of response and counter-response.

Pages: 36 pages
Date: 2016-11-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hap and nep-soc
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