Gender of First-Born Child Affects Parents' Charitable Giving
12 November 2015 at 9:09 am
Parents' charitable giving is affected by the sex of their first child, according to a new report out of the US.
Debra Mesch, Director of the Women's Philanthropy Institute (WPI) at Indiana University, which conducted the study, said among people who had two or more children, those with a first-born son on average gave 14.3 per cent larger amounts to charity than people whose first-born was a daughter.
Among people who have had just one child, those with a daughter were more likely to give, donating 20.3 per cent larger amounts to charity than people who had a son.
"The sex of the first-born child affects the likelihood that the parents will give to charity, the amount they give, and the types of causes and organizations they support," Mesch, said.
"This is an important factor influencing charitable giving that was previously unknown."
"Research in several fields has examined how the sex of a child affects parents' behavior, but this is the first study to ask this question about philanthropy," the co-principal investigator and Professor of Economics, Mark Otttoni-Wilhelm, said.
"Finding that the sex of the child does have an impact on the parents' philanthropy is one of those special moments of discovery.
“Many previous studies have found that parents influence their children’s generosity. The new research expands that sphere of influence to include children’s effect on their parents’ generosity.”
The researchers found that the children’s effect was shaped by other family characteristics, including the number of children, the partnership status of the parents (partnered or not), the parents’ partnership history and whether any children were still living at home.
Women Give 2015 is the sixth in a series of research reports conducted at the Women’s Philanthropy Institute that focus on gender differences in giving to charitable organizations.
Download the Women Give 2015: Read the full report.