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On the Desirability of Taxing Charitable Contributions

Author

Listed:
  • Tomer Blumkin
  • Efraim Sadka

Abstract

We develop a model that allows for public goods and status signaling through charitable contributions. This model provides a unified framework in which contributions are driven both by altruism and status signaling. We use this setup to re-examine the conventional practice of rendering a favorable tax treatment to charitable contributions.

Suggested Citation

  • Tomer Blumkin & Efraim Sadka, 2007. "On the Desirability of Taxing Charitable Contributions," CESifo Working Paper Series 1900, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1900
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp1900.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Harbaugh, William T., 1998. "What do donations buy?: A model of philanthropy based on prestige and warm glow," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 269-284, February.
    2. Frank, Robert H, 1984. "Are Workers Paid Their Marginal Products?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 549-571, September.
    3. Michael J. Boskin & Eytan Sheshinski, 1978. "Optimal Redistributive Taxation When Individual Welfare Depends upon Relative Income," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 92(4), pages 589-601.
    4. Ireland, Norman J., 1998. "Status-seeking, income taxation and efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 99-113, October.
    5. J. A. Mirrlees, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 175-208.
    6. Harbaugh, William T, 1998. "The Prestige Motive for Making Charitable Transfers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 277-282, May.
    7. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
    8. Glazer, Amihai & Konrad, Kai A, 1996. "A Signaling Explanation for Charity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 1019-1028, September.
    9. Deaton, Angus, 1979. "Optimally uniform commodity taxes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 357-361.
    10. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-477, June.
    11. Diamond, Peter, 2006. "Optimal tax treatment of private contributions for public goods with and without warm glow preferences," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 897-919, May.
    12. Ireland, N. J., 2001. "Optimal income tax in the presence of status effects," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 193-212, August.
    13. Robert H. Frank, 1984. "Interdependent Preferences and the Competitive Wage Structure," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(4), pages 510-520, Winter.
    14. Ireland, Norman J., 1994. "On limiting the market for status signals," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 91-110, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Polborn Mattias K, 2008. "Competing for Recognition through Public Good Provision," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-25, September.
    2. Aronsson, Thomas & Johansson-Stenman, Olof & Wendner, Ronald, 2016. "Redistribution through Charity and Optimal Taxation when People are Concerned with Social Status," Working Papers in Economics 642, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    3. David A. Weisbach, 2008. "What Does Happiness Research Tell Us About Taxation?," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(S2), pages 293-324, June.
    4. Blumkin, Tomer & Sadka, Efraim, 2007. "A case for taxing charitable donations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(7-8), pages 1555-1564, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    optimal taxation; re-distribution; charitable contributions; inequality;

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General

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