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Tax-price elasticity of charitable donations: Evidence from the German taxpayer panel

  • Adena, Maja

I estimate permanent and transitory tax-price and income elasticity of charitable giving in Germany using a rich panel data of tax return for the years 2001-2006. Income tax reforms were implemented in 2004 and 2005. The results suggest that the permanent tax-price elasticity varies significantly by income class, ranging from -0.2 for low incomes to -1.6 for higher incomes. Permanent income elasticity does not vary much among income classes, is rather low, and ranges between 0.2-0.3. The donors adjust their donations gradually after changes in the tax schedule and respond to future predictable changes in price. They respond to changes in current and, to a smaller extent, in future income.

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Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change with number SP II 2014-302.

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Date of creation: 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbeoc:spii2014302
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  1. 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.
  2. Robert Mcclelland & Arthur C. Brooks, 2004. "What is the Real Relationship between Income and Charitable Giving?," Public Finance Review, , vol. 32(5), pages 483-497, September.
  3. Feldstein, Martin S & Taylor, Amy, 1976. "The Income Tax and Charitable Contributions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(6), pages 1201-22, November.
  4. Bakija, Jon & Heim, Bradley T., 2011. "How Does Charitable Giving Respond To Incentives And Income? New Estimates From Panel Data," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 64(2), pages 615-50, June.
  5. Triest, Robert K., 1998. "Econometric Issues in Estimating the Behavioral Response to Taxation: A Nontechnical Introduction," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 4), pages 761-72, December.
  6. 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.
  7. Timm Bönke & Nima Massarrat-Mashhadi & Christian Sielaff, 2013. "Charitable giving in the German welfare state: fiscal incentives and crowding out," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 154(1), pages 39-58, January.
  8. 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.
  9. Gabrielle Fack & Camille Landais, 2010. "Are Tax Incentives for Charitable Giving Efficient? Evidence from France," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 117-41, May.
  10. Jon Bakija, 2000. "Distinguishing Transitory and Permanent Price Elasticities of Charitable Giving with Pre-Announced Changes in Tax Law," Department of Economics Working Papers 2000-06, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  11. Honore, Bo E, 1992. "Trimmed LAD and Least Squares Estimation of Truncated and Censored Regression Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(3), pages 533-65, May.
  12. Borgloh, Sarah, 2008. "What Drives Giving in Extensive Welfare States? The Case of Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-123, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  13. Barrett, Kevin S. & McGuirk, Anya M. & Steinberg, Richard S., 1997. "Further Evidence on the Dynamic Impact of Taxes on Charitable Giving," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 50(2), pages 321-34, June.
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