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Does the NEA crowd out private charitable contributions to the arts?

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  • Jane K. Dokko

Abstract

In this paper, I extend a theoretical model of the crowding out hypothesis, whereby government contributions to a public good displace private giving, in order to illustrate how dollar-for-dollar crowding out is possible even when individuals regard their own contributions and government grants as imperfect substitutes. I estimate that private charitable contributions to arts organizations increased by 60 cents to a dollar due to a major funding cut to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) during the mid-1990s. These increases, however, also coincided with, on average, a 25 cent increase in fund-raising expenditures by arts organizations for every dollar decrease in government grants. The estimate of crowding out found in this paper is large, particularly for a study using a micro-data set. I argue that an appropriate interpretation of an estimate of a crowding out parameter, in general, depends crucially on the context.

Suggested Citation

  • Jane K. Dokko, 2008. "Does the NEA crowd out private charitable contributions to the arts?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-10, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2008-10
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Payne, A. Abigail, 1998. "Does the government crowd-out private donations? New evidence from a sample of non-profit firms," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 323-345, September.
    2. Warr, Peter G., 1983. "The private provision of a public good is independent of the distribution of income," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 207-211.
    3. 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.
    4. Saez, Emmanuel, 2004. "The optimal treatment of tax expenditures," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2657-2684, December.
    5. Richard STEINBERG, 1991. "Does Government Spending Crowd Out Donations?," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(4), pages 591-612, October.
    6. 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.
    7. Francesca Borgonovi & Michael O'Hare, 2004. "The Impact of the National Endowment for the Arts in the United States: Institutional and Sectoral Effects on Private Funding," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 28(1), pages 21-36, February.
    8. Roberts, Russell D, 1984. "A Positive Model of Private Charity and Public Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(1), pages 136-148, February.
    9. James Andreoni & A. Abigail Payne, 2003. "Do Government Grants to Private Charities Crowd Out Giving or Fund-raising?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 792-812, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:hrs:journl:v:viii:y:2016:i:3:p:77-87 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Lauren Schmitz, 2012. "Do Cultural Tax Districts Buttress Revenue Growth for Budding Arts Organizations?," SCEPA working paper series. SCEPA's main areas of research are macroeconomic policy, inequality and poverty, and globalization. 2012-1, Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA), The New School.
    3. Orkhan ISMAYILOV, 2016. "Flypaper Nonprofits: Crowding In And Crowding Out Effects Of Grants On Nonprofit Finance," Regional Science Inquiry, Hellenic Association of Regional Scientists, vol. 0(3), pages 77-87, December.

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    Keywords

    Crowding out (Economics) ; Public goods;

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