Private Philanthropy and the Economics of Public Radio
Public radio in the United States receives both direct and indirect government funding. Direct subsidies come in the form of lump-sum and matching grants, while indirect subsidies proceed from tax revenues foregone on deductible private donations. Each of these sources of government money impacts charitable giving to public radio. This paper estimates both of these effects, using data on a national sample of public radio stations in the United States from 1990-96. I find that public funding to stations has a positive impact on private giving, but this impact rapidly decreases as the level of government subsidies increases, ultimately becoming negative. The analysis also indicates that increases in state tax rates correspond with higher donation levels. This paper explores the implications of these and other findings for policymakers, public administrators, and nonprofit managers.
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