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The Impact of State and Local Government Spending on Charitable Giving in the United States

By Lynn Vandendriessche

This paper seeks to further understand how government spending impacts private giving to charitable organizations. It considers giving and spending in the United States in 2008 with a focus on government spending on education, welfare, healthcare, and hospitals. Government spending is looked at at the state and local levels. The results indicate that the impact of government spending depends not only on the category of spending, but also on the income level of the giver. Increased welfare spending is shown to cause incomplete crowding-out across all income groups. Results consistently show education spending to cause crowding-out as well. The impact of both healthcare and hospital spending is more ambiguous, with differing results for different government levels (state and local) and income brackets.

Honors Thesis

Advisor: Michelle Connolly, Peter Arcidiacon | JEL Codes: L3, L31, L38 | Tagged: Altruism/Philanthropy, and Education, Charitable Giving, Health, Non-profit Institutions, Welfare

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Undergraduate Program Assistant
Jennifer Becker
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Director of the Honors Program
Michelle P. Connolly
michelle.connolly@duke.edu