Variable Definitions and Sources

Independent Variables104

Consumer Sentiment

Consumer Sentiment is an index computed based on monthly surveys covering personal finances, business conditions, and buying conditions.

Data for consumer sentiment come from the Consumer Sentiment Index, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (FRED) (link)

Corporate Profits

Corporate Profits are corporate income after subtracting expenses.

Data for corporate profits come from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce (link)

Corporate Savings

Corporate Saving is corporate profits that are left over after taxes and dividend payments.

Data for corporate saving come from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce (link)

Disposable Personal Income

Disposable Personal Income refers to “the amount of money that households have available for spending and saving after” paying taxes.105

Data for disposable personal income come from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce (link)

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

GDP is “the value of the production of goods and services in the United States, adjusted for price changes,” according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce.

Data for GDP come from Table 1.1.5 at the Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce (link)

Household and Nonprofit Net Worth

Net Worth for Households and Nonprofits is the net assets of households and nonprofits serving households after subtracting net liabilities.

Data for the net worth of households and nonprofits come from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (FRED) (link)

Individual/Household Itemizers and Non-Itemizers

Itemizers refer to those taxpayers who can itemize certain expenses on their household taxes, as opposed to taking the standard deduction. Typically, those with higher incomes and/or those who own their homes are able to itemize.

Data for the number of itemizers come from the Internal Revenue Service (link). Data for non-itemized giving come from the Philanthropy Panel Study, Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy (link), and Giving USA 2016: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2015, researched and written by Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and published by Giving USA Foundation (link)

Individual Tax Rate

The Individual Tax Rate is the top marginal tax rate for individuals and households.

This information comes from the Internal Revenue Service (link)

Interest Rate for Governmental Securities

The Interest Rate for Governmental Securities is the rate of return on an asset after removing the effect of inflation.

Data for the interest rates of governmental securities come from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (FRED) (link)

Personal Consumption

Personal Consumption is a measure of personal consumption expenditure, a measure of “goods and services purchased by U.S. residents” according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce, (link).

Data for personal consumption come from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (FRED) (link)

Personal Consumption Expenditures

Personal Consumption Expenditures is the primary measure of consumer spending on goods and services in the U.S. economy. It accounts for about two-thirds of domestic final spending, and thus it is the primary engine that drives future economic growth. PCE shows how much of the income earned by households is being spent on current consumption as opposed to how much is being saved for future consumption.”106 (link)

Personal Income

Personal Income is “the income received by persons from participation in production, government and business transfers, and government interest.” (link)

Data for personal income come from Table 2.1 at Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce (link)

Personal Savings

Personal Saving refers to the amount of income that individuals/households save, as opposed to what households spend.107 (link)

Personal Saving Rate

The Personal Saving Rate is the percentage of disposable personal income that is used for saving.

Data for the personal saving rate come from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (FRED) (link)

The S&P 500

The S&P 500 is the value of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index on December 31 of a given year.

Data for the S&P 500 come from Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (FRED) (link)

Dependent Variables

Growth Rate for Individual/Household Giving

The Growth Rate for Individual/Household Giving includes cash and non-cash donations contributed by all U.S. individuals and households (including those who itemize their charitable contributions on their income taxes and those who do not) to U.S. charities.

Historical data for the growth rate in individual/household giving were derived from Giving USA 2016: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2015, researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and published by Giving USA Foundation. (link)

Growth Rate for Foundation Giving

The Growth Rate for Foundation Giving includes grants made by all U.S foundations to U.S. charities.

Historical data for the growth rate in foundation giving were derived from Giving USA 2015: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2014, researched and written by Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and published by Giving USA Foundation. (link) Foundation giving data in Giving USA are based on estimates produced by the Foundation Center (link) and include grants from community, private (including family), and corporate foundations.

Growth Rate for Estate Giving

The Growth Rate for Estate Giving includes cash and non-cash donations (bequests) contributed by all U.S. estates (including those who itemize their charitable contributions on their estate taxes and those who do not) to U.S. charities.

Historical data for the growth rate in estate giving were derived from Giving USA 2016: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2015, researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and published by Giving USA Foundation. (link)

Growth Rate for Corporate Giving

The growth rate for corporate giving includes cash and non-cash IRS itemized donations contributed by all U.S. corporations and corporate foundations to U.S. charities.

Historical data for the growth rate in corporate giving were derived from Giving USA 2016: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2015, researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and published by Giving USA Foundation. (link)

Growth Rate for Education Giving

The Growth Rate for Education Giving includes cash and non-cash donations from itemizing and non-itemizing U.S. households to U.S. educational charities, including institutions of higher education, private K-12 schools, vocational schools, libraries, educational research and policy, and many other types of organizations serving educational purposes.

Historical data for the growth rate in education giving were derived from Giving USA 2016: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2015, researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and published by Giving USA Foundation. (link)

Growth Rate for Health Giving

The Growth Rate for Health Giving includes cash and non-cash donations from itemizing and non-itemizing U.S. households to U.S. health charities, including nonprofit community health centers, hospitals, and nursing homes; organizations focused on the treatment and/or cure of specific diseases; emergency medical services; wellness and health promotion; mental healthcare; health research; and other types of health organizations.

Historical data for the growth rate in health giving were derived from Giving USA 2016: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2015, researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and published by Giving USA Foundation. (link)

Growth Rate for Public-Society Benefit Giving

The Growth Rate for Public-Society Benefit Giving includes cash and non-cash donations from itemizing and non-itemizing U.S. households to U.S. public-society benefit charities, including independent research facilities, community development organizations, human and civil rights organizations, philanthropy associations, national donor-advised funds, United Ways, federated charities, and other types of organizations.

Historical data for the growth rate in public-society benefit giving were derived from Giving USA 2016: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2015, researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and published by Giving USA Foundation. (link)