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Are Political and Charitable Giving Substitutes? Evidence from the United States

Author

Listed:
  • Pinar Yildirim
  • Andrei Simonov
  • Maria Petrova
  • Ricardo Perez-Truglia

Abstract

We provide evidence that individuals substitute between political contributions and charitable contributions, using micro data from the American Red Cross and Federal Election Commission. First, in a lab experiment, we show that information on the importance of charitable giving increases donations to charities and reduces donations to politics, while information on the importance of political campaigns has the opposite effect. We also show that similar results hold in observational data. We find that foreign natural disasters, which are positive shocks to charitable giving, crowd out political giving. We also find that political advertisement campaigns, which are positive shocks to political giving, crowd out charitable giving. Our evidence suggests that some individuals give to political and charitable causes to satisfy similar needs.

Suggested Citation

  • Pinar Yildirim & Andrei Simonov & Maria Petrova & Ricardo Perez-Truglia, 2020. "Are Political and Charitable Giving Substitutes? Evidence from the United States," NBER Working Papers 26616, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26616
    Note: PE POL
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    Cited by:

    1. Tatyana Deryugina & Benjamin M. Marx, 2020. "Is the Supply of Charitable Donations Fixed? Evidence from Deadly Tornadoes," NBER Working Papers 27078, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Asatryan, Zareh & Joulfaian, David, 2021. "Taxes and business philanthropy in Armenia," ZEW Discussion Papers 21-022, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    3. Adena, Maja & Hager, Anselm, 2020. "Does online fundraising increase charitable giving? A nation-wide field experiment on Facebook," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2020-302, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • H84 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Disaster Aid

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