IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Paradoxes of the War on Poverty: Warm-Glows and Efficiency

Registered author(s):

    The universal moral public good of fighting poverty is provided by both public and private transfers. Efficient public transfers do not crowd out giving because of the particular motives for it. Understanding these effects is necessary for both explaining aid and choosing policy. This analysis reveals puzzling paradoxes, contradictions and impossibilities and the few remaining possible explanations are shown. This investigation includes the various possible types of “warm-glows” (sacrifice or responsibility, praise, altruism-based, shallow, and external), the reasons for implicit cooperation, putative reciprocity and policy incentives. The large number of people concerned eliminates important possibilities (although it favours others).

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France in its series IDEP Working Papers with number 0807.

    in new window

    Length: 34 pages
    Date of creation: 18 Nov 2008
    Date of revision: 18 Nov 2008
    Handle: RePEc:iep:wpidep:0807
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    2, rue de la Charité 13002 Marseille

    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Brekke, Kjell Arne & Kverndokk, Snorre & Nyborg, Karine, 2003. "An economic model of moral motivation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 1967-1983, September.
    2. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-93, Nov.-Dec..
    3. M. Bilodeau & N. Gravel, 1997. "Voluntary provision of a public good and individual morality," THEMA Working Papers 97-31, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    4. Warr, Peter G., 1982. "Pareto optimal redistribution and private charity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 131-138, October.
    5. Boadway, R.W. & Pestieau, P. & Wildasin, D.E., 1987. "Tax-transfer policies and the voluntary provision of public goods," CORE Discussion Papers 1987019, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    6. Anat R. Admati & Motty Perry, 1991. "Joint Projects without Commitment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 259-276.
    7. Erik Schokkaert & Luc Van Ootegem, 1998. "Preference Variation and Private Donations," Public Economics Working Paper Series ces9808, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Working Group Public Economics.
    8. Riber, D.C. & Wilhelm, M.O., 1996. "Altruistic and Joy-of-Giving Motivations in Charitable Behavior," Papers 1-96-4, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
    9. 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.
    10. Leslie M. Marx & Steven A. Matthews, 2000. "Dynamic Voluntary Contribution to a Public Project," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(2), pages 327-358.
    11. Andreoni, J. & Bergstrom, T., 1993. "Do Government Subsidies Increase the Private Supply of Public Goods?," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 406, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    12. 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.
    13. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1986. "On the Voluntary and Involuntary Provision of Public Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 789-93, September.
    14. 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.
    15. Glazer, Amihai & Konrad, Kai A, 1996. "A Signaling Explanation for Charity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 1019-28, September.
    16. Hollander, Heinz, 1990. "A Social Exchange Approach to Voluntary Cooperation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1157-67, December.
    17. Sugden, Robert, 1982. "On the Economics of Philanthropy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(366), pages 341-50, June.
    18. Cornes, Richard & Sandler, Todd, 1984. "Easy Riders, Joint Production, and Public Goods," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(375), pages 580-98, September.
    19. 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 136-48, February.
    20. Sugden, Robert, 1984. "Reciprocity: The Supply of Public Goods through Voluntary Contributions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(376), pages 772-87, December.
    21. Bilodeau, Marc & Steinberg, Richard, 2006. "Donative nonprofit organizations," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
    22. Clotfelter, Charles T, 1980. "Tax Incentives and Charitable Giving: Evidence from a Panel of Taxpayers," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 319-40, June.
    23. Varian, Hal R., 1994. "Sequential contributions to public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 165-186, February.
    24. Harbaugh, William T, 1998. "The Prestige Motive for Making Charitable Transfers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 277-82, May.
    25. 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.
    26. Fershtman, Chaim & Nitzan, Shmuel, 1991. "Dynamic voluntary provision of public goods," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 1057-1067, July.
    27. Rege, Mari & Telle, Kjetil, 2004. "The impact of social approval and framing on cooperation in public good situations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1625-1644, July.
    28. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L., 1992. "Valuing public goods: The purchase of moral satisfaction," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 57-70, January.
    29. Roberts, Russell D, 1987. "Financing Public Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(2), pages 420-37, April.
    30. 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.
    31. Clotfelter, Charles T., 1980. "Tax incentives and charitable giving: evidence from a panel of taxpayers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 319-340, June.
    32. David Masclet & Marc Willinger & Charles Figuières, 2007. "The economics of the telethon: leadership, reciprocity and moral motivation," Working Papers 07-08, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Oct 2007.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iep:wpidep:0807. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Yves Doazan)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.