IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/pubeco/v137y2016icp51-69.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Do tax incentives affect charitable contributions? Evidence from public charities' reported revenues

Author

Listed:
  • Duquette, Nicolas J.

Abstract

This paper estimates the effect of the charitable contribution tax deduction on charities' donation revenue from charities' tax filings. A one percent increase in the tax cost of giving causes charitable receipts to fall by about four percent, an effect three times larger the consensus in the literature. Further analysis reveals substantial heterogeneity in the tax response by subsector: health care and home care are more tax-sensitive than other charities, while higher education and arts are less tax-sensitive. The results are consistent with substantial tax response heterogeneity within the sample and between sampled and unsampled charities, implying that the mean tax elasticity of charitable contributions is a poor predictor of tax incentive effects for individual charities.

Suggested Citation

  • Duquette, Nicolas J., 2016. "Do tax incentives affect charitable contributions? Evidence from public charities' reported revenues," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 51-69.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:137:y:2016:i:c:p:51-69
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2016.02.002
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047272716000219
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.jpubeco.2016.02.002?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gruber, Jonathan, 2004. "Pay or pray? The impact of charitable subsidies on religious attendance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2635-2655, December.
    2. James R. Hines Jr., 1999. "Non-Profit Business Activity and the Unrelated Business Income Tax," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 13, pages 57-84, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Stefano DellaVigna & John A. List & Ulrike Malmendier, 2012. "Testing for Altruism and Social Pressure in Charitable Giving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 1-56.
    4. Andreoni, James & Payne, A. Abigail, 2011. "Is crowding out due entirely to fundraising? Evidence from a panel of charities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(5), pages 334-343.
    5. Janet Currie & Jonathan Gruber, 1996. "Health Insurance Eligibility, Utilization of Medical Care, and Child Health," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 431-466.
    6. Naomi E. Feldman, 2010. "Time Is Money: Choosing between Charitable Activities," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 103-130, February.
    7. Ivan A. Canay, 2011. "A simple approach to quantile regression for panel data," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 14(3), pages 368-386, October.
    8. 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.
    9. Erik Hurst & Geng Li & Benjamin Pugsley, 2014. "Are Household Surveys Like Tax Forms? Evidence from Income Underreporting of the Self-Employed," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(1), pages 19-33, March.
    10. Amy Finkelstein, 2009. "E-ztax: Tax Salience and Tax Rates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 969-1010.
    11. Barış K. Yörük, 2013. "The Impact of Charitable Subsidies on Religious Giving and Attendance: Evidence from Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(5), pages 1708-1721, December.
    12. Karlan, Dean & List, John A. & Shafir, Eldar, 2011. "Small matches and charitable giving: Evidence from a natural field experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(5), pages 344-350.
    13. Jacob Goldin & Tatiana Homonoff, 2013. "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: Cigarette Tax Salience and Regressivity," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 302-336, February.
    14. Raj Chetty & Adam Looney & Kory Kroft, 2009. "Salience and Taxation: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1145-1177, September.
    15. Gabrielle Fack & Camille Landais, 2010. "Are Tax Incentives for Charitable Giving Efficient? Evidence from France," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 117-141, May.
    16. Huck, Steffen & Rasul, Imran, 2011. "Matched fundraising: Evidence from a natural field experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(5-6), pages 351-362, June.
    17. 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.
    18. Reinstein David A, 2011. "Does One Charitable Contribution Come at the Expense of Another?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-54, June.
    19. Daniel Feenberg & Elisabeth Coutts, 1993. "An introduction to the TAXSIM model," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 189-194.
    20. 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.
    21. repec:hrv:faseco:33078971 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Ralph Bradley & Steven Holden & Robert Mcclelland, 2005. "A Robust Estimation Of The Effects Of Taxation On Charitable Contributions," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 23(4), pages 545-554, October.
    23. Clotfelter, Charles T., 1985. "Federal Tax Policy and Charitable Giving," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226110486, December.
    24. repec:feb:framed:0087 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Khanna, Jyoti & Posnett, John & Sandler, Todd, 1995. "Charity donations in the UK: New evidence based on panel data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 257-272, February.
    26. Glaeser, Edward L. & Shleifer, Andrei, 2001. "Not-for-profit entrepreneurs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 99-115, July.
    27. Martin Feldstein & James M. Poterba, 1996. "Empirical Foundations of Household Taxation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feld96-1, January-J.
    28. Gruber, Jon & Saez, Emmanuel, 2002. "The elasticity of taxable income: evidence and implications," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 1-32, April.
    29. Duncan, Brian, 1999. "Modeling charitable contributions of time and money," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 213-242, May.
    30. Backus, Peter, 2010. "Is charity a homogeneous good?," Economic Research Papers 270773, University of Warwick - Department of Economics.
    31. James Andreoni & Justin M. Rao & Hannah Trachtman, 2017. "Avoiding the Ask: A Field Experiment on Altruism, Empathy, and Charitable Giving," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(3), pages 625-653.
    32. 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 517-522, August.
    33. Jonathan Gruber, 2004. "Pay or Pray? The Impact of Charitable Subsidies on Religious Attendance," NBER Working Papers 10374, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    34. Konow, James, 2010. "Mixed feelings: Theories of and evidence on giving," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(3-4), pages 279-297, April.
    35. Backus, Peter, 2010. "Is charity a homogeneous good?," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 951, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    36. John A. List, 2011. "The Market for Charitable Giving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 157-180, Spring.
    37. Gruber, Jonathan & Hungerman, Daniel M., 2007. "Faith-based charity and crowd-out during the great depression," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 1043-1069, June.
    38. Duquette, Christopher M., 1999. "Is Charitable Giving by Nonitemizers Responsive to Tax Incentives? New Evidence," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 195-206, June.
    39. 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 709-738, August.
    40. Robert McClelland & Mary F. Kokoski, 1994. "Econometric Issues in the Analysis of Charitable Giving," Public Finance Review, , vol. 22(4), pages 498-517, October.
    41. Okten, Cagla & Weisbrod, Burton A., 2000. "Determinants of donations in private nonprofit markets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 255-272, February.
    42. Price V. Fishback & Shawn Everett Kantor, 1995. "Did Workers Pay for the Passage of Workers' Compensation Laws?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 713-742.
    43. Duquette, Christopher M., 1999. "Is Charitable Giving by Nonitemizers Responsive to Tax Incentives? New Evidence," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 52(2), pages 195-206, June.
    44. Bakija, Jon & Heim, Bradley T., 2011. "How Does Charitable Giving Respond to Incentives and Income? New Estimates From Panel Data," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 64(2), pages 615-650, June.
    45. AfDB AfDB, . "Annual Report 2012," Annual Report, African Development Bank, number 461.
    46. James Andreoni & A. Abigail Payne, 2003. "Do Government Grants to Private Charities Crowd Out Giving or Fund-raising?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 792-812, June.
    47. Charles T. Clotfelter, 1985. "Federal Tax Policy and Charitable Giving," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number clot85-1, January-J.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Peter G. Backus & Nicky L. Grant, 2019. "How sensitive is the average taxpayer to changes in the tax-price of giving?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 26(2), pages 317-356, April.
    2. Paskalev, Zdravko & Yildirim, Huseyin, 2017. "A theory of outsourced fundraising: Why dollars turn into “Pennies for Charity”," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 1-18.
    3. Asatryan, Zareh & Joulfaian, David, 2021. "Taxes and business philanthropy in Armenia," ZEW Discussion Papers 21-022, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    4. Backus, Peter, 2010. "Is charity a homogeneous good?," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 951, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    5. Marius A. K. Ring & Thor Olav Thoresen, 2022. "Wealth Taxation and Charitable Giving," CESifo Working Paper Series 9700, CESifo.
    6. Backus, Peter, 2010. "Is charity a homogeneous good?," Economic Research Papers 270773, University of Warwick - Department of Economics.
    7. Barış K. Yörük, 2013. "The Impact of Charitable Subsidies on Religious Giving and Attendance: Evidence from Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(5), pages 1708-1721, December.
    8. Yörük, Barış K., 2014. "Does giving to charity lead to better health? Evidence from tax subsidies for charitable giving," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 71-83.
    9. Tatyana Deryugina & Benjamin M. Marx, 2021. "Is the Supply of Charitable Donations Fixed? Evidence from Deadly Tornadoes," American Economic Review: Insights, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 383-398, September.
    10. Kimberley Scharf & Sarah Smith, 2015. "The price elasticity of charitable giving: does the form of tax relief matter?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(2), pages 330-352, April.
    11. James Andreoni & Abigail Payne, 2007. "Crowding out Both Sides of the Philanthropy Market: Evidence from a Panel of Charities," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001769, UCLA Department of Economics.
    12. Andreoni, James & Payne, A. Abigail, 2011. "Is crowding out due entirely to fundraising? Evidence from a panel of charities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(5), pages 334-343.
    13. Nathalie Monnet & Ugo Panizza, 2017. "A Note on the Economics of Philanthropy," IHEID Working Papers 19-2017, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
    14. Asatryan, Zareh & Joulfaian, David, 2022. "Taxes and Business Philanthropy in Armenia," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 200(C), pages 914-930.
    15. Scharf, Kim; Smith, Sarah, 2010. "The Price Elasticity of Charitable Giving:Does the Form of Tax Relief Matter?," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 03, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    16. Karlan, Dean & List, John A., 2020. "How can Bill and Melinda Gates increase other people's donations to fund public goods?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 191(C).
    17. Scharf, Kimberley & Smith, Sarah L., 2010. "Rational Inattention to Subsidies for Charitable Contributions," CEPR Discussion Papers 7760, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. Roman M. Sheremeta & Neslihan Uler, 2021. "The impact of taxes and wasteful government spending on giving," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 24(2), pages 355-386, June.
    19. Ross Hickey & Bradley Minaker & A. Abigail Payne, 2019. "The Sensitivity of Charitable Giving to the Timing and Salience of Tax Credits," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 72(1), pages 79-110, March.
    20. Naomi E. Feldman, 2010. "Time Is Money: Choosing between Charitable Activities," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 103-130, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Charitable giving; Taxation; Tax deduction; United States;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • L30 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:137:y:2016:i:c:p:51-69. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578 .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.