Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/80320
Authors: 
Dasgupta, Indraneel
Kanbur, Ravi
Year of Publication: 
2007
Series/Report no.: 
CREDIT Research Paper 07/13
Abstract: 
Wealthy individuals often voluntarily provide public goods that the poor also consume. Such philanthropy is perceived as legitimizing one’s wealth. Governments routinely exempt the rich from taxation on grounds of their charitable expenditure. We examine the normative logic of this exemption. We show that, rather than reducing it, philanthropy may aggravate absolute inequality in welfare achievement, while leaving the change in relative inequality ambiguous. Additionally, philanthropic preferences may increase the effectiveness of policies to redistribute income, instead of weakening them. Consequently, the general normative case for exempting the wealthy from expropriation, on grounds of their public goods contributions, appears dubious.
Subjects: 
Community
Public goods
Inequality
Distribution
Philanthropy
Egalitarianism
JEL: 
D31
D63
D74
Z13
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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