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John J. Havens

center on wealth and philanthropy


Insert Senior Research Associate and Senior Associate Director, Center on Wealth and Philanthropy
Boston College
142 Beacon Street
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
(617) 552-4070
Fax (617) 552-3903

John J. Havens is Senior Research Associate and Senior Associate Director of the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College. He received his training in mathematics, economics, and physics at Yale University and his graduate training in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He began his research career as an engineer and mathematician at the Metals Research Laboratories of Olin Matheison Corporation in 1957. Subsequently he conducted research in social psychology at the Laboratory of Psychosocial Studies at Boston College; in urban transportation for the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences; in applied policy and data analysis for the American Institute for Research in Cambridge; and for the past 17 years in economic, public policy, and philanthropy analysis for the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College.

At the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy, Havens directed the construction and application of the Multi-Regional Policy Impact Simulation (MRPIS) model, a large-scale but very detailed computer model of the national economy, which was used to estimate the economic impacts in a wide range of public policies, including federal tax proposals, federal budgetary analyses, health care proposals, and peace dividend alternatives. He has also directed a variety of economic impact analyses including the past three studies of the economic impact of the independent colleges and universities of Massachusetts on the state's economy.

From September 1992 to the present, Havens has participated in the study of philanthropy. He directed the Boston Area Diary Study (BADS) from 1995-1997, a two year diary study that gathered and analyzed information on giving, volunteering, and caring behavior for 44 participants in the Boston metropolitan area in weekly telephone interviews. In conjunction with Bankers Trust Private Banking he and Paul G. Schervish completed the Wealth with Responsibility Study/2000; and also released in 1999 the report Millionaires and the Millennium: New Estimates of the Forthcoming Wealth Transfer and the Prospects for a Golden Age of Philanthropy, which estimates the wealth transfer over the next half-century to be between $41 trillion and $136 trillion. With Schervish and colleague Mary O'Herlihy, Havens conducted the 2001 High-Tech Donors Study, a qualitative study on the philanthropic interests and practices of high-tech executives based on in-depth interviews.

Havens has been recognized for the third consecutive year by the Nonprofit Times as a member of the Power and Influence Top 50 list. He knows both how and why someone will give."Current research projects include "Dilemmas and Decisions Surrounding the Accumulation and Distribution of Financial Resources," funded by the T. B. Murphy Foundation Charitable Trust; "The Emerging Material and Spiritual Determinants of Charitable Giving by Wealth Holders," funded by the Lilly Endowment Inc.; and an expanded and refined estimation of wealth transfer over the next half century. These projects all explore the associations among philanthropy, income, and wealth; the organizational and moral determinants of giving and volunteering; and the implications for fundraising and philanthropy.

John Havens CV (Download pdf)

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