Chapter 20 - Neuroeconomics of Charitable Giving and Philanthropy

This chapter focuses on voluntary decisions about charitable giving. Most charity involves what economists call public goods. The bulk of the evidence from empirical and experimental studies supported the existence of a purely altruistic motive for charitable giving, but that in societies of more th...

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Published in: Neuroeconomics pp. 303 - 320
Main Authors: Mayr, Ulrich, Harbaugh, William T, Tankersley, Dharol
Format: Book Chapter
Language: English
Published: Elsevier Inc 2009
Online Access: Get full text
Summary: This chapter focuses on voluntary decisions about charitable giving. Most charity involves what economists call public goods. The bulk of the evidence from empirical and experimental studies supported the existence of a purely altruistic motive for charitable giving, but that in societies of more than 20 or so people this motive lost its force, and could not explain the widespread giving. The combination of Pure Altruism and warm-glow known as Impure Altruism was an appealing alternative model, and also why alternative explanations based on repeated play, reciprocity, and signaling might too be consistent with the data. Taxation raises a set of issues that has not yet been addressed in neuroeconomics. Tax compliance is one example. Most economic studies show that tax cheating is far lower than would be expected if people simply weighed the benefits against the small chances of getting caught and the low subsequent penalties. Thus, it seems likely that people pay taxes at least partly out of a sense of obligation, if not exactly altruism.
ISBN: 9780123741769
0123741769
DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-374176-9.00020-8