Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Economics



First Advisor

Thomas Garrett

Second Advisor

Xin Dang

Third Advisor

Natalia Kolesnikova

Relational Format



This dissertation investigates the market of individual philanthropy through two essays on religiosity and charitable giving by married couples. The second chapter examines whether people who engage in religious activities are more generous in terms of both religious and secular giving and whether gender differences exist in charitable giving within different levels of religiosity. The results of bivariate probit and tobit analyses show that religious people have a greater propensity to give and higher levels of giving to both religious and secular charitable organizations. A zero-inflated ordered probit model is used to analyze an individual donor’s decision-making process, and the results reveal that gender-based distinctions differ between religious and less-religious individuals in both magnitude and sign, although no gender difference is found for the whole sample. Since little research exists on the bargaining power of married couples over giving to charities, using newly available panel data on U.S. households from the Center on Philanthropy Panel Study, the third chapter investigates the question of who has relatively greater bargaining power when the husband and the wife make charitable giving decisions together. Results suggest that the husband, on average, has significantly greater bargaining power than the wife, and bargaining over charitable giving reduces household giving by 8 percent. Moreover, the joint decision made by a family with traditional views on gender roles tends to have the husband with even more bargaining power.

Included in

Economics Commons



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