Different implications of inequality are seen at different spatial scales, with the study suggesting that regional disparity is linked to enhanced friendliness among abundant individuals in both places. CC0 (creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) image by Alexander Grey through Unsplash.
According to a study published in PLoS ONE by Joel H. Suss of the London School of Economics and Political Science and the Bank of England, UK, wealthy people who live in areas with higher levels of financial inequality are more likely to engage in charitable giving and other prosocial behaviours.
Numerous studies have attempted to determine whether the rich are inherently more charitable than the bad, and whether this varies with the degree of economic inequality. The results are still up in the air at this point. Work in this field has already been done at the macro level, aggregating data at the state, regional, and national levels. Suss investigated the possibility that regional, localised financial data would provide greater insight into the connection between generosity and financial success.
Using zip codes (indicate population 14,041; basic discrepancy 15,846) as the most granular neighbourhood system, Suss analysed data on charitable contributions in 2018 from the United States Internal Revenue Service and data on earnings inequality from the American Community Survey for the years 2014-2018. He also compared data on self-reported charitable giving and offering with real estate values to roughly ascertain community disparity from the 2016-2018 UK research “Understanding Society” (N= 39,289).
When looking at the UK and the US via this more specific regional lens, Suss found that regional disparity increased the compassion of richer groups. Analysis of the United States found that lower-income people were less generous in areas with more income inequality.
In subsequent analyses aggregating his United States data more broadly at the county and state levels, in line with the methods of previous research study, the results of Suss’ study flipped, revealing increased inequality lowering providing by all earnings groups relative to the most affordable earnings group (earnings less than $10k) and highlighting the significance of the chosen spatial system.