Partisanship, Government Responsibility, and Charitable Donations

52 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2022 Last revised: 1 Mar 2024

See all articles by Bouke Klein Teeselink

Bouke Klein Teeselink

King's College London; Yale School of Management

Georgios Melios

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science; University College London

Abstract

Who bears the responsibility for providing public goods? In this paper, we examine how alignment with the current president influences individuals' opinions about the normative role of government in welfare provision, and examine the behavioral consequences of these beliefs. In particular, we examine how changes in beliefs induced by electoral turnovers affect people’s inclination to provide welfare privately through donating to charities. Using 17 years of US tax return data, we find that alignment with the government leads to a reduction in charitable donations. Specifically, when accounting for government spending, supporters of the incumbent government lower their charitable contributions, while detractors increase theirs. This shift in donation behavior is consistent with shifts in people’s beliefs about the role and efficiency of the government, as partisans across the political spectrum report higher confidence in governments led by their preferred party and assign them greater responsibilities in addressing societal challenges.\normalsize

Keywords: Public Goods, Partisanship, Beliefs, Charitable Donations

Suggested Citation

Klein Teeselink, Bouke and Melios, Georgios, Partisanship, Government Responsibility, and Charitable Donations. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4189400 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4189400

Bouke Klein Teeselink

King's College London ( email )

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London
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Yale School of Management ( email )

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Georgios Melios (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science ( email )

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University College London ( email )

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