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Keywords:

  • public assistance;
  • welfare;
  • charity;
  • selection bias;
  • cluster analysis

Prior research considers the extent to which public assistance recipients' charitable activity differs from the habits of the general population. Although receiving public assistance is negatively associated with donating money, the relationship to volunteering is unclear. In response to challenges overcoming selection bias, we conducted a multivariate cluster-based subgroup analysis to reduce bias in our claims about the ways in which public assistance receipt affects charitable activity. This innovative approach to dealing with the problem of selection bias has implications and applications across the social sciences.