IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Is charity a homogeneous good?

  • Backus, Peter

    (University of Warwick)

In this paper I estimate income and price elasticities of donations to six different charitable causes to test the assumption that charity is a homogeneous good. In the US, charitable donations can be deducted from taxable income. This has long been recognized as producing a price, or taxprice, of giving equal to one minus the marginal tax rate faced by the donor. A substantial portion of the economic literature on giving has focused on estimating price and income elasticities of giving as the received wisdom suggests that a price elasticity greater than unity is indicative of the ‘treasury efficiency’ of the tax deductibility of charitable contributions, as the loss to tax revenue is less than the increase in giving. However, a major limitation of nearly all the previous attempts to identify such effects has been the implicit assumption that charity is a homogeneous good, meaning giving to one type of charity is a perfect substitute for any other and that the causespecific responsiveness of giving to changes in price and income is equal across those causes. If this assumption is violated, then estimates may be biased and policies designed to increase charitable contributions may be sub-optimal. Results suggest that the tax-price of giving only affects giving to religious organisations and that the income effect is invariant over charitable causes.

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: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/2010/twerp_951.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 951.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:951
Contact details of provider: Postal:
CV4 7AL COVENTRY

Phone: +44 (0) 2476 523202
Fax: +44 (0) 2476 523032
Web page: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/

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. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
  2. Steven T. Yen & Helen H. Jensen, 1995. "Determinants of Household Expenditures on Alcohol," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 95-wp144, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
  3. Duncan, Brian, 1999. "Modeling charitable contributions of time and money," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 213-242, May.
  4. Lorenzo Cappellari & Paolo Ghinetti & Gilberto Turati, 2007. "On Time and Money Donations," DISCE - Quaderni dell'Istituto di Economia dell'Impresa e del Lavoro ieil0047, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
  5. Hurd, Michael, 1979. "Estimation in truncated samples when there is heteroscedasticity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2-3), pages 247-258.
  6. Ribar, David C. & Wilhelm, Mark O., 1995. "Charitable Contributions to International Relief and Development," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(2), pages 229-44, June.
  7. James Andreoni & Eleanor Brown & Isaac Rischall, 2000. "Charitable Giving by Married Couples: Who Decides and Why Does it Matter?," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2000-44, Claremont Colleges.
  8. Slemrod, Joel, 1989. "Are Estimated Tax Elasticities Really Just Tax Evasion Elasticities? The Case of Charitable Contributions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(3), pages 517-22, August.
  9. Auten, Gerald E. & Rudney, Gabriel G., 1986. "Tax reform and individual giving to higher education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 167-178, April.
  10. Reece, William S & Zieschang, Kimberly D, 1985. "Consistent Estimation of the Impact of Tax Deductibility on the Level of Charitable Contributions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(2), pages 271-93, March.
  11. Duncan, Brian, 2004. "A theory of impact philanthropy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2159-2180, August.
  12. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2003. "Rebate versus matching: does how we subsidize charitable contributions matter?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 681-701, March.
  13. Mark Ottoni Wilhelm, 2008. "Practical Considerations for Choosing Between Tobit and SCLS or CLAD Estimators for Censored Regression Models with an Application to Charitable Giving," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 70(4), pages 559-582, 08.
  14. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 0042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Burton Abrams & Mark Schitz, 1978. "The ‘crowding-out’ effect of governmental transfers on private charitable contributions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 29-39, March.
  16. Sabina L. Shaikh & Douglas M. Larson, 2003. "A Two-Constraint Almost Ideal Demand Model of Recreation and Donations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 953-961, November.
  17. Glenday, Graham & Gupta, Anil K & Pawlak, Henry, 1986. "Tax Incentives for Personal Charitable Contributions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(4), pages 688-93, November.
  18. Gruber, Jonathan, 2004. "Pay or pray? The impact of charitable subsidies on religious attendance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2635-2655, December.
  19. Wales, T. J. & Woodland, A. D., 1983. "Estimation of consumer demand systems with binding non-negativity constraints," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 263-285, April.
  20. Susan Feigenbaum, 1980. "The Case of Income Redistribution: a Theory of Government and Private Provision of Collective Goods," Public Finance Review, , vol. 8(1), pages 3-22, January.
  21. Atkinson, A.B., 2009. "Giving overseas and public policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(5-6), pages 647-653, June.
  22. Kingma, Bruce Robert, 1989. "An Accurate Measurement of the Crowd-Out Effect, Income Effect, and Price Effect for Charitable Contributions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1197-1207, October.
  23. Daniel Feenberg & Elisabeth Coutts, 1993. "An introduction to the TAXSIM model," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 189-194.
  24. Chamberlain, Gary, 1982. "Multivariate regression models for panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 5-46, January.
  25. Powell, James L., 1984. "Least absolute deviations estimation for the censored regression model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 303-325, July.
  26. Brown, Eleanor & Lankford, Hamilton, 1992. "Gifts of money and gifts of time estimating the effects of tax prices and available time," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 321-341, April.
  27. Lankford, R Hamilton & Wyckoff, James H, 1991. "Modeling Charitable Giving Using a Box-Cox Standard Tobit Model," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(3), pages 460-70, August.
  28. David E. Sahn, 2005. "Consistent Estimation of Censored Demand Systems Using Panel Data," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(3), pages 660-672.
  29. Feldstein, Martin & Clotfelter, Charles, 1976. "Tax incentives and charitable contributions in the United States : A microeconometric analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1-2), pages 1-26.
  30. 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.
  31. repec:esx:essedp:618 is not listed on IDEAS
  32. Reece, William S, 1979. "Charitable Contributions: New Evidence on Household Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 142-51, March.
  33. Steven Yen, 2002. "An econometric analysis of household donations in the USA," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(13), pages 837-841.
  34. Ralph Bradley & Steven Holden & Robert Mcclelland, 2005. "A Robust Estimation Of The Effects Of Taxation On Charitable Contributions," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 23(4), pages 545-554, October.
  35. Khanna, Jyoti & Sandler, Todd, 2000. "Partners in giving:: The crowding-in effects of UK government grants," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(8), pages 1543-1556, August.
  36. Reinstein, David, 2006. "Does One Contribution Come at the Expense of Another? Empirical Evidence on Substitution Between Charitable Donations," Economics Discussion Papers 2938, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  37. 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.
  38. Steven T. Yen & Biing-Hwan Lin & David M. Smallwood, 2003. "Quasi- and Simulated-Likelihood Approaches to Censored Demand Systems: Food Consumption by Food Stamp Recipients in the United States," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(2), pages 458-478.
  39. Feldstein, Martin S & Taylor, Amy, 1976. "The Income Tax and Charitable Contributions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(6), pages 1201-22, November.
  40. Wilhelm, Mark O., 2006. "New data on charitable giving in the PSID," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 26-31, July.
  41. Robinson, Peter M, 1982. "On the Asymptotic Properties of Estimators of Models Containing Limited Dependent Variables," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 27-41, January.
  42. Mikkel Barslund, 2007. "Estimation of Tobit Type Censored Demand Systems: A Comparison of Estimators," Discussion Papers 07-16, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  43. Jean-Paul Chavas & Kwansoo Kim, 2004. "A Heteroskedastic Multivariate Tobit Analysis of Price Dynamics in the Presence of Price Floors," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(3), pages 576-593.
  44. Gabrielle Fack & Camille Landais, 2010. "Are Tax Incentives for Charitable Giving Efficient? Evidence from France," NBER Chapters, in: Income Taxation, Trans-Atlantic Public Economics Seminar (TAPES), pages 117-141 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  45. Amemiya, Takeshi, 1974. "Multivariate Regression and Simultaneous Equation Models when the Dependent Variables Are Truncated Normal," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(6), pages 999-1012, November.
  46. Robert McClelland & Mary F. Kokoski, 1994. "Econometric Issues in the Analysis of Charitable Giving," Public Finance Review, , vol. 22(4), pages 498-517, October.
  47. Gerald E. Auten & Holger Sieg & Charles T. Clotfelter, 2002. "Charitable Giving, Income, and Taxes: An Analysis of Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 371-382, March.
  48. 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.
  49. Schwartz, Robert A, 1970. "Personal Philanthropic Contributions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(6), pages 1264-91, Nov.-Dec..
  50. Boskin, Michael J & Feldstein, Martin S, 1977. "Effects of the Charitable Deduction on Contributions by Low Income and Middle Income Households: Evidence from the National Survey of Philanthropy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 59(3), pages 351-54, August.
  51. Jonathan Gruber, 2004. "Pay or Pray? The Impact of Charitable Subsidies on Religious Attendance," NBER Working Papers 10374, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  52. Randolph, William C, 1995. "Dynamic Income, Progressive Taxes, and the Timing of Charitable Contributions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 709-38, August.
  53. 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.
  54. 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.
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:wrk:warwec:951. 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: (Robyn Till)

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.