Is charity partisan?
Are conservatives more generous than liberals? Arthur Brooks, president of prominent conservative think tank the American Enterprise Institute, recently made the case that they are. However, a new paper by a pair of MIT graduate students challenges this claim. The authors found no statistically significant difference in overall charitable donations across the political spectrum. They did find differences in how ideologues donate: Conservatives tend to donate more to religious organizations, especially their own congregations, while liberals tend to donate more to secular causes. In addition, partisans seem to react to the party of the president: Small nonprofits in Democratic states get more donations when a Democrat is president; small nonprofits in Republican states get more donations when a Republican is president.