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Are Estimated Tax Elasticities Really Just Tax Evasion Elasticities? The Case of Charitable Contributions

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  • Slemrod, Joel

Abstract

This paper uses data from tax returns that have been subject to intensive audits to confront the quantitative importance of misreporting for the estimated tax responsiveness of charitable contributions. It concludes that the tax responsiveness of charitable giving that has been detected using tax return data cannot be ascribed to the tax responsiveness of overstating actual giving. In fact, overstatement is apparently less price responsive than actual giving, implying that the responsiveness of actual giving is higher than is suggested by studying reported contributions. Copyright 1989 by MIT Press.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:71:y:1989:i:3:p:517-22
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    1. Reece, William S & Zieschang, Kimberly D, 1985. "Consistent Estimation of the Impact of Tax Deductibility on the Level of Charitable Contributions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(2), pages 271-293, March.
    2. Poterba, James M, 1987. "Tax Evasion and Capital Gains Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 234-239, May.
    3. Pitt, Mark M., 1981. "Smuggling and price disparity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 447-458, November.
    4. Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1974. "Income tax evasion: A theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 201-202, May.
    5. Clotfelter, Charles T, 1983. "Tax Evasion and Tax Rates: An Analysis of Individual Returns," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(3), pages 363-373, August.
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