“I Give Therefore I Have: Charitable Donations and Subjective Wealth”

Zoë Chance, Harvard Business School, USA
Michael Norton, Harvard Business School, USA
Philanthropy implies wealth, and donations may thereby confer status – not just to others (“I am wealthy and therefore attractive!) but also, we suggest, to the self (“If I’m giving money away, I must be prosperous!”). We show that though donations decrease objective wealth, they ironically increase feelings of subjective wealth.
[ to cite ]:
Zoë Chance and Michael Norton (2011) ,"“I Give Therefore I Have: Charitable Donations and Subjective Wealth”", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 38, eds. Darren W. Dahl, Gita V. Johar, and Stijn M.J. van Osselaer, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research.