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Are Tax Incentives for Charitable Giving Efficient? Evidence from France

  • Gabrielle Fack
  • Camille Landais

This paper estimates the effect of tax incentives for charitable contributions in France. We focus on two reforms that increased the nonrefundable tax credit rate for charitable contributions by 32 percent. We use a difference-in-difference identification, comparing the evolution of contributions for groups of households with similar income, but different taxable status due to differences in family size. We control for censoring issues and investigate distributional effects using a three-step censored quantile regression estimator. We find that the price elasticity of contributions is relatively small, but tends to increase with the level of gifts. (JEL D14, D64, H24)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/pol.2.2.117
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/pol/data/2008-0138_data.zip
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 2 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 117-41

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:2:y:2010:i:2:p:117-41
Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.2.2.117
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  1. Dean Karlan & John List, 2006. "Does price matter in charitable giving? Evidence from a large-scale natural field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00279, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. Bitler, Marianne P. & Gelbach, Jonah B. & Hoynes, Hilary W., 2005. "What Mean Impacts Miss: Distributional Effects of Welfare Reform Experiments," IZA Discussion Papers 1728, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Moshe Buchinsky & Jinyong Hahn, 1998. "An Alternative Estimator for the Censored Quantile Regression Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 653-672, May.
  4. Diamond, Peter, 2006. "Optimal tax treatment of private contributions for public goods with and without warm glow preferences," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 897-919, May.
  5. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, . "Social Comparisons and Pro-social Behavior - Testing ‘Conditional Cooperation’ in a Field Experiment," IEW - Working Papers 162, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  6. Powell, James L., 1986. "Censored regression quantiles," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 143-155, June.
  7. Stephan Meier, 2007. "Do Subsidies Increase Charitable Giving in the Long Run? Matching Donations in a Field Experiment," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(6), pages 1203-1222, December.
  8. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  9. Hong H. & Chernozhukov V., 2002. "Three-Step Censored Quantile Regression and Extramarital Affairs," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 97, pages 872-882, September.
  10. Huck, Steffen & Rasul, Imran & Shephard, Andrew, 2013. "Comparing Charitable Fundraising Schemes: Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment and a Structural Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 9648, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. 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.
  12. Slemrod, Joel, 1989. "Are Estimated Tax Elasticities Really Just Tax Evasion Elasticities? The Case of Charitable Contributions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(3), pages 517-22, August.
  13. Harbaugh, William T., 1998. "What do donations buy?: A model of philanthropy based on prestige and warm glow," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 269-284, February.
  14. Boskin, Michael J & Feldstein, Martin S, 1977. "Effects of the Charitable Deduction on Contributions by Low Income and Middle Income Households: Evidence from the National Survey of Philanthropy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 59(3), pages 351-54, August.
  15. John A. List & David Lucking-Reiley, 2002. "The Effects of Seed Money and Refunds on Charitable Giving: Experimental Evidence from a University Capital Campaign," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 215-233, February.
  16. 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.
  17. Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "The Optimal Treatment of Tax Expenditures," NBER Working Papers 8037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2003. "Rebate versus matching: does how we subsidize charitable contributions matter?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 681-701, March.
  19. 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.
  20. Kingma, Bruce Robert, 1989. "An Accurate Measurement of the Crowd-Out Effect, Income Effect, and Price Effect for Charitable Contributions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1197-1207, October.
  21. 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.
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