Contrary to what some people might think, one study ““found that the higher the income the more people reported tipping waiters and waitresses.” Though, a big caveat is that the information for the study was self-reported.
In terms of charitable giving, some studies have found that rich people give away larger percentages of their income to charity, though, again, there are important caveats here. For one, lower income Americans who give to charitable organizations are more likely to be religious and give to religious institutions in the form of cash. As a result, the amount of charitable giving may be masked, especially since lower income individuals are significantly less likely to report their donations for tax purposes, which is the easiest way to measure them.
But the surprising thing to me is that this is even a question. It would seem to me that once you get to a given level of comfort and have a given level of disposable income, then, of course your tipping and charitable giving should increase at a faster rate. If poor people are giving the same percentage of their incomes to charitable causes, while the dollar amount is smaller, the sacrifice would seem to be undoubtedly larger since they have less “extra” income that doesn’t go to food, shelter, medical costs, etc. I’d be interested in seeing if there was a study that measured giving as a percentage of income after taking into account spending on the essentials. My prediction would be that it might show a different story than the way people have studied it to date.
And of course, stories like this about rich people tipping don’t really help their cause either….