eCommons

 

Should Egalitarians Expropriate Philanthropists?

Other Titles

Abstract

Wealthy individuals often voluntarily provide public goods that the poor also consume. Such philanthropy is commonly perceived as legitimizing one’s wealth. Governments routinely exempt the rich from taxation on grounds of their charitable expenditures. We examine the logic of this exemption. We show that, rather than reducing inequality, philanthropy may actually exacerbate absolute inequality, 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, from an egalitarian perspective, the general case for exempting the wealthy from expropriation, on grounds of their public goods contributions, appears dubious.

Journal / Series

Volume & Issue

Description

WP 2007-03 February 2007

JEL Classification Codes: D31; D63; D74; Z13

Sponsorship

Date Issued

2007-02-01

Publisher

Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University

Keywords

Community; Public goods; Inequality; Distribution; Philanthropy; Egalitarianism

Location

Effective Date

Expiration Date

Sector

Employer

Union

Union Local

NAICS

Number of Workers

Committee Chair

Committee Co-Chair

Committee Member

Degree Discipline

Degree Name

Degree Level

Related Version

Related DOI

Related To

Related Part

Based on Related Item

Has Other Format(s)

Part of Related Item

Related To

Related Publication(s)

Link(s) to Related Publication(s)

References

Link(s) to Reference(s)

Previously Published As

Government Document

ISBN

ISMN

ISSN

Other Identifiers

Rights

Rights URI

Types

article

Accessibility Feature

Accessibility Hazard

Accessibility Summary

Link(s) to Catalog Record