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Philanthropy Panel Study, 2001




Wilhelm, M. O., Brown, E., Rooney, P. M., Steinberg, R., Stafford, F. P., Schoeni, R. F., & McGonagle, K. (2021, August 30). Philanthropy Panel Study, 2001.


The Philanthropy Panel Study is the Philanthropy Module of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). The 2001 Panel contains data on the charitable giving and volunteering of 7,406 American families. The charitable giving data describe the giving done by the family unit as a whole. The volunteering data are separately available for both "Heads" and "Wives" (PSID terminology) in married and cohabiting families.

The charitable giving data include religious giving. The religious giving data-along with the religious affiliation data-make the Panel well-suited for the study of religious giving within the PSID's rich context of families' economic, social, health, and demographic circumstances. The 2001 Panel can be linked to the 2003 Panel providing the nation's only panel data on religious giving.

The ARDA has added three additional variables to the original data set to enhance the users' experience on our site.

Data File

Cases: 7406
Variables: 121
Weight Variable: FAMWGT01

Data Collection


Funded By

Atlantic Philanthropies
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Collection Procedures

The PSID was collected in face-to-face interviews using paper and pencil questionnaires between 1968 and 1972. Thereafter, the majority of interviews were conducted over the telephone. In 1993, the PSID introduced the use of computer assisted telephone interviewing. In the 1999 wave, 97.5% of the interviews were conducted over the phone, and all interviews were conducted using computer-based instruments.

For more information click here:

Sampling Procedures

The PSID sample, originating in 1968, consisted of two independent samples: a cross-sectional national sample and a national sample of low-income families. The cross-sectional sample was drawn by the Survey Research Center (SRC). Commonly called the SRC sample, this was an equal probability sample of households from the 48 contiguous states and was designated to yield about 3,000 completed interviews. The second sample came from the Survey of Economic Opportunity (SEO), conducted by the Bureau of the Census for the Office of Economic Opportunity. In the mid-1960's, the PSID selected about 2,000 low-income families with heads under the age of sixty from SEO respondents. The sample, known as the SEO sample, was confined to Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSA's) in the North and non-SMSA's in the Southern region. The PSID core sample combines the SRC and SEO samples.

This information about the PSID is taken from

Principal Investigators

Mark O. Wilhelm
PI of the Philanthropy Panel Study
Department of Economics
Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) and
the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University
Indianapolis, Indiana 46202

Co-PIs of the Philanthropy Panel Study:
Eleanor Brown
Department of Economics
Pomona College
Claremont, CA 91711

Patrick M. Rooney and Richard Steinberg
Department of Economics
Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) and
the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University

Frank P. Stafford (PI of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics).
Survey Research Center
Institute for Social Research
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248

Co-PIs of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics:
Robert F. Schoeni and Katherine McGonagle
Survey Research Center
Institute for Social Research
University of Michigan

Related Publications

Wilhelm, Mark O. 2006a. "New Data on Charitable Giving in the PSID." Economics Letters 92(1, July): 26-31.

Wilhelm, Mark O. 2006b. "The 2001 Center on Philanthropy Panel Study User's Guide." Mimeo, IUPUI.

Wilhelm, Mark O. 2007. "The Quality and Comparability of Survey Data on Charitable Giving." Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 36(1, March): 65-84.


The suggested citation for this file is:

Wilhelm, Mark O., Eleanor Brown, Patrick M. Rooney, and Richard Steinberg. 2001. The Center on Philanthropy Panel Study [machine-readable data file] / Director and Principal Investigator, Mark O. Wilhelm; Co-Principal Investigators, Eleanor Brown, Patrick M. Rooney, and Richard Steinberg; Sponsored by Atlantic Philanthropies. In the Panel Study of Income Dynamics Wave XXXII [machine-readable data file] / Director and Principal Investigator, Frank P. Stafford; Co-Principal Investigators, Robert F. Schoeni, Jacquelynne S. Eccles, Katherine McGonagle, and Wei-Jun Jean Yeung. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan.

In your acknowledgment you can also thank Atlantic Philanthropies for funding the collection of data in the 2001, 2003, and 2005 waves, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for funding the 2007 and 2009 data collection as well as this data dissemination work. Data are a public good, but someone has to pay for them-by expressing appreciation, users encourage funders to continue supporting data collection.


FAMWGT01: This weight variable is used for analysis of all 2001 families, including the immigrant sample families that were added in 1997 and 1999 as well as the PSID core families.

Families that include at least one sample person with a non-zero individual weight are assigned a positive value for this variable. This positive value is the average of the individual weights of all members of the Family Unit, whether or not they are part of the sample. Certain families, however, have values of zero for this variable. There are several reasons for the zero weight assignment:

(1) Families that were initially dropped from the SEO sample in 1997 but reinstated because of the intense interest in children and child development have zero weights.

(2) Families that are comprised only of non-sample individuals have zero weights. Most of these non-sample individuals are being interviewed because they are parents of sample children (but the children reside in another panel FU).

(3) Families whose only sample people have zero individual weights are assigned zero family weights. In most cases, these sample people have zero individual weights because they were re-contacts at some earlier point. For further information on the criteria for these zero value weight assignments, see the 1993 documentation, Part 5 "PSID Analysis Weights", Section 1.C, pp 23-24.

Charitable Giving Variables

The charitable giving variables are of two types: incidence and amount. An incidence variable is a binary indicator: Did the respondent give or not? Incidence variables are prefixed by "G." The second giving variable type is the dollar amount given, prefixed by "A." For example, Grelig is a dummy variable indicating whether the family unit gave to religious purposes or spiritual development and Arelig contains the amount given. All missing data have been imputed, but corresponding accuracy codes (Greligacc and Areligacc) indicate whether and what imputations were made. Missing data are not a big problem in the Center Panel (see Wilhelm 2006c).

There is not a "total giving" variable in the data (because the religious giving-independent variables relationship differs from the secular giving-independent variables relationship). However, total giving can be constructed by adding religious giving to all secular giving (Arelig + Asec10). After reporting giving to the four main types of secular organizations-organizations that have a combination of purposes (e.g., United Way), organizations that help people in need, educational organizations, and health organizations-the respondent was asked a series of yes/no questions about giving to five other types of organizations (youth and family services, the arts, neighborhoods and communities, environmental, and international) and a mop-up "any other" category. If the respondent said "yes" to, say, four of these six, the respondent was asked the aggregate amount given to all four.

There was a change in the youth and family services, the arts, neighborhoods and communities, environmental, and international questions in wave 2003. In 2003, the respondent was asked the separate amounts given to each of these five types of organizations and then asked about the mop-up other category. Not surprisingly, reports of amounts given to these six are higher in 2003 than in 2001.

In the 2001 data the variable Asec04 adds together giving to the four main types: combined purpose, help the needy, educational, and health organizations. Asec04 is comparable to the similarly named variable from 2003. In the 2001 data Asec06 is simply the response to the single question about the amount given to the last six categories. The 2001 Asec06 is NOT comparable to the 2003 Asec06.

A third variable is Asec10 = Asec04 + Asec06. Because Asec06 is not comparable in 2001 and 2003, Asec10 is not comparable in 2001 and 2003. Likewise, total giving (Arelig + Asec10) is not comparable in 2001 and 2003. However, giving to religion plus the main four types of secular giving (Arelig + Asec04) is comparable in 2001 and 2003. The quality of the 2001 Center Panel giving data is analyzed (by me) in a pair of papers that are included in the Archive (Wilhelm 2006b, 2006c).

Volunteering Variables

The 2001 volunteering section was short, consisting of only three questions: Did you volunteer ten or more hours last year? If yes, how many hours? And, how much of that volunteering was to help people in need? The respondent was asked these questions for self and spouse.

It is important to note that the 2001 volunteering questions are very different from the volunteering questions in the 2003 and subsequent waves. While the "any volunteering" indicators may be comparable across years, the hours are not.

The quality of the 2001 Center Panel volunteering data have not been analyzed at the same level of detail as the quality of the giving data. What we know is that the Center Panel volunteering data indicate similar volunteering incidence and hours as does the Current Population Survey September supplement.

Religious Affiliation

The PSID religious affiliation questions are not re-asked in every wave but only asked when either the head or wife changed from the previous wave (head/wife changes occur when a family "splits-off" from another family or when a previously non-response family is re-contacted and brought back into the study). The implication is that most entries for religious affiliation are "0" in the 2001 PSID raw data, meaning that the religious affiliation questions were not asked in the current wave.

The religious affiliation variables in this extract describe the affiliation of all heads and wives in the 2001 data, not just the new heads and wives. The religious affiliation information is taken from the last time the head and wife were asked the affiliation question. Bringing the affiliation information forward from the last time the question was asked to the year 2001 is a complicated task because it appears that in some earlier waves the response to the affiliation question ("What is your religious preference?") of "none/atheist/agnostic" was coded as "0" but at the same time family units in which the affiliation question was not asked were also coded as "0." For this extract Rob Bandy (then a graduate student at IUPUI) did considerable work to bring forward the last non-missing value of the affiliation variables. In the 2003 wave the PSID staff brings forward the religious affiliation data so that the raw religious affiliation data can be used directly (see Wilhelm 2006a). Users may want to compare the 2001 variables brought forward by Rob and I to the 2003 variables brought forward by the PSID staff.

The religious affiliation variables in this extract are a set of dummy variables describing broad categories (Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, other, none) and narrower categories (e.g., Baptist, Lutheran, Mormon, Orthodox). All missing data are assigned to zero in the dummy variables, but a missing data indicator tells you if the affiliation information is missing.

Demographic, Health and Economic Variables

There are several demographic variables in the extract. The demographic variables are self-explanatory.

Respondent-reported health status for both head and wife is included. The PSID has many more health variables.

The total income of the family unit is included; total family income is the PSID's main income variable. Wealth at the time of the interview (both with and without equity in the main home) is included. Employment status (working, retired, disabled) is included for both head and wife. Of course, the PSID has much more detailed income, wealth, and labor supply variables.

Merging Other PSID Data

To add more data from the PSID 2001 Family File to the extract use the Data Center to draw the variables to be added (the 2001 family unit identifier ER17002 is automatically provided). Merge the drawn variables into the extract using ER17002 (after you rename ER17002 to fid2001).

To merge the 2003 extract into the 2001 Family File (or the Family File from any other year) read Tutorials 2 or 3. You cannot simply merge the 2003 family unit identifier to the 2001 family unit identifier.

Advice for New Users

Drop the family units with notaskedSection_T=1. These family units were not asked the giving, and volunteering questions, but their giving and volunteering variables are still coded to "0."

When calculating descriptive statistics either (i) use the weights famwgt01 or (ii) work with the SRC subsample (subsample=1) to avoid over-representation of low-income families (the SEO subsample).

Using the Data and Disclaimer

The documentation you are reading is in draft form, so there will likely be new drafts with minor changes in response to readers' comments. Periodically check my website:

It is much less likely that there will be changes in the extract data themselves, but if there are changes you will be able to download the revised data from the website. The extract data are easy to use, but it falls to the user to use the data responsibly-this means learning about the PSID. For example, say the user calculates simple averages from the extract data. The user is already making a big mistake because he or she is ignoring the fact that the PSID has a low-income oversample (see Section 5). A good place to start learning about the PSID is Martha Hill's (1992) excellent user's guide. Also, the on-line tutorials are excellent (see Section 4).

The extract data are provided as a favor to those interested in the analysis of giving, and volunteering. If after making a serious effort to understand the data (e.g., reading all of this documentation, reading the questionnaire, reading Martha Hill's (2002) introduction to the PSID, and reading about the PSID on the PSID's web site), you think there is a problem with the data in the extract, contact me (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Do not contact the PSID help e-mail with questions about the data in this extract (the PSID has agreed to the posting of this extract with the understanding that I am the person to whom questions about the extract will be sent).

Finally, you use these data "as is"-the final responsibility of any conclusions you draw in research using these data rests with you.

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