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Voluntary giving and economic growth: Time series evidence for the US

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  • Heinemann, Friedrich

Abstract

This study analyzes the sensitivity of US giving to both business cycle fluctuations and trend growth. With tax revenues as a point of reference, US giving constitutes a relatively stable source of revenue. Total giving is characterized by a business cycle volatility which is comparable to the moderate one of indirect taxes. However, this overall finding is composed of the respective sub-components' very different short-run GDP-elasticities. Individual and, to an even larger extent, corporate giving is quite sensitive to cyclical fluctuations. By contrast, foundation giving and charitable bequests tend to stabilize total giving over the business cycle. The macro estimates for the income elasticities lie in the upper band of the well researched micro-estimates. This is consistent with a social multiplier view according to which individual giving is mutually reinforcing.

Suggested Citation

  • Heinemann, Friedrich, 2010. "Voluntary giving and economic growth: Time series evidence for the US," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-075, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:10075
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Paul van den Noord, 2000. "The Size and Role of Automatic Fiscal Stabilizers in the 1990s and Beyond," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 230, OECD Publishing.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    charitable giving; social multiplier; error-correction-model;

    JEL classification:

    • H27 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Other Sources of Revenue
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes

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