On the Crowding-Out Effects of Tax-Financed Charitable Contributions by the Government
An important question in the literature on charitable contributions is the extent to which tax-financed contributions by the government crowd out private contributions. This paper examines a simple model of charitable contributions in which there exist both warm-glow and public good motives for giving, but where the warm-glow motive is competitive in the sense that individuals evaluate their own contribution relative to that of their peers. It is shown that the competitive element of the warm-glow motive may exacerbate or attenuate the crowding-out effect, depending upon certain preference and income parameters. However, as the warm-glow motive for giving becomes purely competitive, crowding out is exacerbated and is almost dollar-for-dollar.
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