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The University of Southampton
Economics Part of Economic, Social and Political Science

1417 Why Give Away Your Wealth: An Analysis Of The Billionaires View (J.Sadeh, M.Tonin & M.Vlassopoulos)

Authors: Jana Sadeh (University of Southampton) Mirco Tonin (University of Southampton)Michael Vlassopoulos (University of Southampton)

Paper number 1417

We explore what motivates the philanthropic activity of extremely wealthy individuals and families. We focus on a recent large-scale philanthropic initiative by billionaires, the Giving Pledge, a commitment to donating half or more of one's wealth. We perform two pieces of analysis: rst, we investigate what personal characteristics of billionaires are associated with becoming a pledger. Second, we undertake a textual analysis of the pledgers' letters describing their philanthropic outlook and classify their motivation into ten categories. We then correlate these motivational categories with various personal characteristics of the pledgers. The main insights obtained from our analysis is that pledgers are more likely to be self-made billionaires, and that their philanthropy is impact-driven.

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