Giving overseas and public policy
Remarkable numbers of people give to overseas development charities. The aim of this paper is to consider how such overseas giving is best modelled and the implications for public policy. Widely used theories of charitable giving, based on warm-glow or the provision of public goods, provide insight but are not fully satisfactory as explanations of giving for the specific purpose of development. Instead, an "identification" approach to individual giving is proposed here that combines the results focus of the public goods formulation with the scale of the warm-glow model. The theoretical model is used to examine the implications for public policy, including the extent to which official aid crowds out private giving and how public policy should take account of private willingness to make charitable transfers overseas.
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