IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Coordination Failures, Philanthropy, and Public Policy


  • Sanjit Dhami


  • Ali al-Nowaihi



We focus on an “equilibrium analysis” of coordination problems in giving that lead to multiple equilibria; the notion of strategic complements and substitutes turns out to be useful in this regard. Some societies can get stuck at a low level of giving while others might, by accident or policy, be able to coordinate on a higher level of giving. Ceteris-paribus, this furnishes one plausible reason for heterogeneity in philanthropy. We give conditions under which tax exemptions to private giving can have perverse effects by reducing equilibrium private giving. Direct government grants to charity, possibly temporary, can enable an economy stuck at an equilibrium with a low level of giving to attain an equilibrium with a high level of giving. Therefore, direct government grants can crowd-in private giving to charity. The paper contributes to the economics of philanthropy as well as to an understanding of the role of public policy in the face of private coordination failures.

Suggested Citation

  • Sanjit Dhami & Ali al-Nowaihi, 2005. "Coordination Failures, Philanthropy, and Public Policy," Discussion Papers in Economics 05/21, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  • Handle: RePEc:lec:leecon:05/21

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    multiple equilibria; crowding-in; strategic substitutes and complements; tax deductibility of charitable contributions; direct grants; charitable redistribution; voluntary contributions to public goods;

    JEL classification:

    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:lec:leecon:05/21. 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: (Mrs. Alexandra Mazzuoccolo). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.