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How Does Charitable Giving Respond To Incentives And Income? New Estimates From Panel Data

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  • Bakija, Jon
  • Heim, Bradley T.

Abstract

We estimate the elasticity of charitable giving with respect to persistent and transitory price and income changes using a 1979–2006 panel of tax returns. Our estimation procedure allows for anticipation of and gradual adjustment to tax changes, controls for various potential sources of omitted variable bias via fixed effects and income-class specific year dummies, and allows for a flexible non-linear relationship between income and charitable giving. Our most convincing estimates are identified by differences in the time-paths of tax incentives across states, and suggest a persistent price elasticity in excess of one in absolute value.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by National Tax Association in its journal National Tax Journal.

Volume (Year): 64 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 615-50

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Handle: RePEc:ntj:journl:v:64:y:2011:i:2:p:615-50

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  1. Barrett, Kevin S. & McGuirk, Anya M. & Steinberg, Richard S., 1997. "Further Evidence on the Dynamic Impact of Taxes on Charitable Giving," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 50(2), pages 321-34, June.
  2. Jon Bakija, 2000. "Distinguishing Transitory and Permanent Price Elasticities of Charitable Giving with Pre-Announced Changes in Tax Law," Department of Economics Working Papers 2000-06, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  3. Mark E Schaffer, 2005. "XTIVREG2: Stata module to perform extended IV/2SLS, GMM and AC/HAC, LIML and k-class regression for panel data models," Statistical Software Components S456501, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 24 Jul 2012.
  4. Ackerman, Deena & Auten, Gerald, 2011. "Tax Expenditures For Noncash Charitable Contributions," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 64(2), pages 651-87, June.
  5. Jon Bakija & Bradley Heim, 2008. "How Does Charitable Giving Respond to Incentives and Income? Dynamic Panel Estimates Accounting for Predictable Changes in Taxation," NBER Working Papers 14237, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Dean Karlan & John A. List, 2007. "Does Price Matter in Charitable Giving? Evidence from a Large-Scale Natural Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1774-1793, December.
  7. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Raj Chetty, 2012. "Bounds on Elasticities With Optimization Frictions: A Synthesis of Micro and Macro Evidence on Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(3), pages 969-1018, 05.
  9. Gerald E. Auten & Holger Sieg & Charles T. Clotfelter, 2002. "Charitable Giving, Income, and Taxes: An Analysis of Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 371-382, March.
  10. Auten, Gerald E. & Cilke, James M. & Randolph, William C., 1992. "The Effects of Tax Reform on Charitable Contributions," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 45(3), pages 267-90, September.
  11. Randolph, William C, 1995. "Dynamic Income, Progressive Taxes, and the Timing of Charitable Contributions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 709-38, August.
  12. Raj Chetty & Adam Looney & Kory Kroft, 2009. "Salience and Taxation: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1145-77, September.
  13. Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "The Optimal Treatment of Tax Expenditures," NBER Working Papers 8037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Charles T. Clotfelter, 1985. "Federal Tax Policy and Charitable Giving," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number clot85-1.
  15. Zoran Ivkovich & James Poterba & Scott Weisbenner, 2004. "Tax-Motivated Trading by Individual Investors," NBER Working Papers 10275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Burman, Leonard E. & Clausing, Kimberly A. & O'Hare, John F., 1994. "Tax Reform and Realizations of Capital Gains in 1986," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 47(1), pages 1-18, March.
  17. Jon Bakija & Robert McClelland, 2005. "Timing vs. Long-run Charitable Giving Behavior: Reconciling Divergent Approaches and Estimates," Department of Economics Working Papers 2005-08, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  18. Feldstein, Martin & Clotfelter, Charles, 1976. "Tax incentives and charitable contributions in the United States : A microeconometric analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1-2), pages 1-26.
  19. Clotfelter, Charles T., 1985. "Federal Tax Policy and Charitable Giving," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226110486.
  20. Jon Bakija, 2006. "Documentation for a Comprehensive Historical U.S. Federal and State Income Tax Calculator Program," Department of Economics Working Papers 2006-02, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised Aug 2009.
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Cited by:
  1. Bönke, Timm & Massarrat-Mashhadi, Nima & Sielaff, Christian, 2010. "Charitable giving in the German welfare state: Fiscal incentives and crowding out," Discussion Papers 2010/30, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  2. Heim, Bradley T. & Lurie, Ithai Z., 2012. "The Effect Of Recent Tax Changes On Tax-Preferred Saving Behavior," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 65(2), pages 283-311, June.
  3. Gabrielle Fack & Camille Landais, 2013. "The effect of tax enforcement on tax elasticities: Evidence from charitable contributions in France," Economics Working Papers 1406, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  4. Adena, Maja, 2014. "Tax-price elasticity of charitable donations: Evidence from the German taxpayer panel," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2014-302, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  5. Ackerman, Deena & Auten, Gerald, 2011. "Tax Expenditures For Noncash Charitable Contributions," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 64(2), pages 651-87, June.
  6. Jonathan Meer, 2013. "Effects of the Price of Charitable Giving: Evidence from an Online Crowdfunding Platform," NBER Working Papers 19082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Meer, Jonathan, 2014. "Effects of the price of charitable giving: Evidence from an online crowdfunding platform," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 113-124.
  8. Tom Coupe & Claire Monteiro, 2013. "The Charity of the Extremely Wealthy," Discussion Papers 51, Kyiv School of Economics.
  9. Jon Bakija, 2013. "Tax Policy and Philanthropy: A Primer on the Evidence for the U.S. and its Implications," Department of Economics Working Papers 2013-01, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  10. Nicolas J. Duquette, 2013. "Do Tax Incentives Affect Charitable Contributions? Evidence from Public Charities’ Reported Revenues," 2013 Papers pdu359, Job Market Papers.

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