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Public Funding of Charities and Competitive Charity Selection

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  • Scharf, Kimberley

Abstract

Evidence on the price elasticity of private donations to charities and on the crowding out effect of donations by government grants suggests that a redirection of government funds from tax incentives for giving towards direct grants could increase total charity funding. This raises the question of why tax incentives for giving are used instead of direct grants. This paper shows that if government grants to charities face verification constraints, switching from direct grants to donation incentives can produce a pro-competitive effect on charity selection, raising the value of charity provision per dollar of funding.

Suggested Citation

  • Scharf, Kimberley, 2010. "Public Funding of Charities and Competitive Charity Selection," CEPR Discussion Papers 7937, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7937
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Triest, Robert K., 1998. "Econometric Issues in Estimating the Behavioral Response to Taxation: A Nontechnical Introduction," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 4), pages 761-72, December.
    2. Andreoni, James & Payne, A. Abigail, 2011. "Is crowding out due entirely to fundraising? Evidence from a panel of charities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(5), pages 334-343.
    3. Andreoni,J. & Payne,A.A., 2001. "Government grants to private charities : do they crowd out giving or fundraising?," Working papers 19, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    4. Scharf, Kimberley Ann, 2000. "Why are tax expenditures for giving embodied in fiscal constitutions?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 365-387, March.
    5. Lakdawalla, Darius & Philipson, Tomas, 2006. "The nonprofit sector and industry performance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1681-1698, September.
    6. Jon Bakija & Bradley Heim, 2008. "How Does Charitable Giving Respond to Incentives and Income? Dynamic Panel Estimates Accounting for Predictable Changes in Taxation," NBER Working Papers 14237, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Clotfelter, Charles T., 1985. "Federal Tax Policy and Charitable Giving," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226110486.
    8. Garth Heutel, 2014. "Crowding Out and Crowding In of Private Donations and Government Grants," Public Finance Review, , vol. 42(2), pages 143-175, March.
    9. Charles T. Clotfelter, 1985. "Federal Tax Policy and Charitable Giving," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number clot85-1, January.
    10. Triest, Robert K., 1998. "Econometric Issues in Estimating the Behavioral Response to Taxation: A Nontechnical Introduction," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 51(4), pages 761-772, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Aldashev, Gani & Marini, Marco & Verdier, Thierry, 2014. "Brothers in alms? Coordination between nonprofits on markets for donations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 182-200.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Charities; Government funding; Market Structure of Nonprofit Organizations; Nonprofit organizations; Pro-Social Motivation;

    JEL classification:

    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General

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