- Richard Steinberg, Professor of Economics and Philanthropic Studies, IUPUI
- Ruth Hansen, Lecturer, Management, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and Ph.D. candidate, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, IUPUI
- Yuan Tian, Ph.D candidate and Research Assistant, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, IUPUI
- Barbara Duffy, Doctoral Student, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, IUPUI
Abstract: We develop two indices for measuring individual generosity in volunteering, based on the notion that generosity is higher when the volunteer makes a larger (gross) sacrifice. Both indices are increasing in time volunteered and decreasing in available time, desirable properties, and the second is also increasing in nonlabor income. We construct both indices using a large cross-section of single-headed households drawn from the PSID. The two indices are highly correlated, and heavily skewed. We compare average volunteering generosity across sample splits based on demography, health status, income, wealth, religious affiliation, and frequency of attendance at religious services. We also compare generosity in monetary donations with generosity in volunteering, finding modest positive correlation between the two.