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Public goods provision and redistributive taxation

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  • Uler, Neslihan

Abstract

This paper studies the relationship between redistributive taxation and tax-deductible charitable contributions. Redistribution has two opposite effects on voluntary giving. The price of charitable giving decreases with the degree of redistribution, and this has a positive effect on the total amount of giving (substitution effect). However, redistribution leads to lower consumption for the contributors and therefore has a negative effect on contributions to the charity (income effect). The theoretical model developed in this paper demonstrates that, under a general class of utility functions, the substitution effect dominates the income effect. Hence, charitable giving increases with the tax rate. In purely egalitarian societies, the public good is provided efficiently and the total welfare is maximized independent of the ex-ante income inequality. However, the positive impact of taxation on charitable giving and welfare may disappear if individuals generate their income levels in anticipation of taxation and redistribution does not take into account the cost of effort.

Suggested Citation

  • Uler, Neslihan, 2009. "Public goods provision and redistributive taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 440-453, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:93:y:2009:i:3-4:p:440-453
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    Cited by:

    1. Marianna Baggio & Luigi Mittone, 2016. "Experience and History: An Experimental Approach to Generational Heterogeneity," International Journal of Applied Behavioral Economics (IJABE), IGI Global, vol. 5(4), pages 1-23, October.
    2. Roman M. Sheremeta & Neslihan Uler, 2016. "The Impact of Taxes and Wasteful Government Spending on Giving," Working Papers 16-07, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    3. Corgnet, Brice & Sutan, Angela & Veszteg, Róbert F., 2011. "My teammate, myself and I: Experimental evidence on equity and equality norms," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 347-355, August.
    4. Tamai, Toshiki, 2010. "Public goods provision, redistributive taxation, and wealth accumulation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 1067-1072, December.
    5. repec:eee:ecmode:v:68:y:2018:i:c:p:409-415 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Neslihan Uler, 2011. "Public goods provision, inequality and taxes," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(3), pages 287-306, September.
    7. Marianna Baggio & Luigi Mittone, 2015. "Grandparents Matter: Perspectives on Intergenerational Altruism. An Experiment on Family Dynamic Spillovers in Public Goods Games," CEEL Working Papers 1502, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.

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