Arthur Brooks, the author of a book on donors to charity, “Who Really Cares,” cites data that households headed by conservatives give 30 percent more to charity than households headed by liberals. A study by Google found an even greater disproportion: average annual contributions reported by conservatives were almost double those of liberals.Bleeding Heart Tightwads, Nicholas Kristof, New York Times - 21 Dec 2008
[...]“When I started doing research on charity,” Mr. Brooks wrote, “I expected to find that political liberals — who, I believed, genuinely cared more about others than conservatives did — would turn out to be the most privately charitable people. So when my early findings led me to the opposite conclusion, I assumed I had made some sort of technical error. I re-ran analyses. I got new data. Nothing worked. In the end, I had no option but to change my views.”
This makes a lot more sense, a little further into the column, when the following information is disclosed:
- The percentage of philanthropy among regular churchgoers is about the same across both liberal and conservative groups, and significantly higher than average.
- And donations to one's own church were counted as private charity.