The study of philanthropy has largely been the purview of the wealthy and privileged in Western societies. However, the act of giving transcends race, religion, nationality, ethnicity, and socioeconomic conditions. This article adds to the philanthropic literature by providing empirical evidence of the prosocial behaviors of rural villagers throughout India. Using responses from a large-scale, door-to-door survey (n=3,159), we found that high percentages of rural Indians regularly engage in both formal and informal giving and volunteering. Even among generally poor, rural Indian villagers, socioeconomic indicators still matter (with the exception of education), and minority religions and lower social groups tend to exhibit higher levels of prosocial behavior than dominant religious and social groups.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: We would like to acknowledge the Penn India Research and Engagement Fund at the University of Pennsylvania for their generous support of this research.
© The Author(s) 2021.
- informal giving
- informal volunteering
- prosocial behavior
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)