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Does government spending really crowd out charitable contributions? new time series evidence

  • Thomas A. Garrett
  • Russell M. Rhine

We exploit the time series properties of charitable giving data to provide additional insights into the crowding out of charitable contributions in response to government spending. We find that the short-run and long-run government spending and charitable giving relationships are quite different - the long run relationship appears to be largely spurious, and estimates of the short-run relationship provide only weak evidence of crowding out. We also find that system estimation can improve upon the efficiency of single equation models used in previous works. Our results support the prestige theory of charitable giving and the rational ignorance of citizens.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2007-012.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2007-012
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  1. Lawrence B. Lindsey & Richard Steinberg, 1990. "Joint Crowdout: An Empirical Study of the Impact of Federal Grants on State Government Expenditures and Charitable Donations," NBER Working Papers 3226, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J. & Johnston, Rachel M., 2005. "An experimental test of the crowding out hypothesis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(8), pages 1543-1560, August.
  3. Johansen, Soren, 1995. "Likelihood-Based Inference in Cointegrated Vector Autoregressive Models," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198774501, March.
  4. Harbaugh, William T, 1998. "The Prestige Motive for Making Charitable Transfers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 277-82, May.
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  7. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
  8. Congleton, Roger D, 2001. " Rational Ignorance, Rational Voter Expectations, and Public Policy: A Discrete Informational Foundation for Fiscal Illusion," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 107(1-2), pages 35-64, April.
  9. Engle, Robert F & Granger, Clive W J, 1987. "Co-integration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation, and Testing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 251-76, March.
  10. Khanna, Jyoti & Posnett, John & Sandler, Todd, 1995. "Charity donations in the UK: New evidence based on panel data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 257-272, February.
  11. Johansen, Soren, 1991. "Estimation and Hypothesis Testing of Cointegration Vectors in Gaussian Vector Autoregressive Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1551-80, November.
  12. Connolly, Laura S., 1997. "Does external funding of academic research crowd out institutional support?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 389-406, June.
  13. Granger, C W J, 1969. "Investigating Causal Relations by Econometric Models and Cross-Spectral Methods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(3), pages 424-38, July.
  14. Andreoni, James, 1988. "Privately provided public goods in a large economy: The limits of altruism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 57-73, February.
  15. Arthur C. Brooks, 2000. "Public subsidies and charitable giving: Crowding out, crowding in, or both?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(3), pages 451-464.
  16. Glazer, Amihai & Konrad, Kai A, 1996. "A Signaling Explanation for Charity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 1019-28, September.
  17. Arthur C. Brooks, 2003. "Do Government Subsidies To Nonprofits Crowd Out Donations or Donors?," Public Finance Review, , vol. 31(2), pages 166-179, March.
  18. 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 464-77, June.
  19. Serena Ng & Pierre Perron, 2001. "LAG Length Selection and the Construction of Unit Root Tests with Good Size and Power," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1519-1554, November.
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