The geography of giving: The effect of corporate headquarters on local charities
Does the presence of corporate headquarters in a city affect the incomes of local charities? To address this question we combine data on the head office locations of publicly traded U.S. firms with information on the receipts of local charitable organizations. Cities like Houston, San Jose, and San Francisco gained significant numbers of corporate headquarters over the past two decades, while cities like Chicago and Los Angeles lost. Our analysis suggests that attracting or retaining the headquarters of a publicly traded firm yields approximately $3-10Â million per year in contributions to local non-profits. Likewise, each $1000 increase in the market value of the firms headquartered in a city yields $0.60-1.60 to local non-profits. Most of the increase in charitable contributions is attributable to an effect on the number of highly-compensated individuals in a city, rather than through direct donations by the corporations themselves. The increased private sector donations from the presence of corporate headquarters do not seem to crowd out government grants to local charities.
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