Zoë Chance, Marketing DBA
Thesis Chair: Michael I. Norton (Chair)
"I Give, Therefore, I Have:" Philanthropy and Prosperity
We suggest and document a surprising means by which people can feel wealthier: giving their money away. We suggest that just as acts of conspicuous generosity signal wealth and power to others, they trigger feelings of subjective wealth and power in the giver-despite decreasing givers' objective wealth. Five studies explore the relationship between philanthropy and subjective wealth, demonstrating that a) giving money away increases feelings of subjective wealth on par with actually receiving windfall gains; b) the feelings of power that result from acts ofgiving mediate the relationship between giving and subjective wealth; and c) by fulfilling one of the goals of conspicuous consumption-signaling wealth-philanthropy decreases the need to signal status through brands.