जून 19, 2023
लेखक WID.world

Is Charitable Giving Political? Evidence from Wealth and Income Tax Returns in France

There has been a rise in philanthropy in Western democracies in recent years. In France, charitable giving increased by 78.6% increase between 2006 and 2019. How to explain such a rise? Increases in tax policies offering substantial incentives to donate to charities provide an initial explanation. In France, both charitable and political donations benefit from a 66% income tax credit, but only the charitable ones are eligible for the 75% wealth tax credit. This increase has also been related to individuals’ growing desire to be seen to be doing good. Yet, philanthropy may not be just about giving, and can also serve political objectives.

This paper studies how charitable giving and political donations intertwine, and investigate in particular the extent to which charitable giving is politically motivated. Here are some of the key findings:

  • Charitable and political donations are substitute – not complements: a one-percent increase in the price of charitable giving leads to an increase of around 0.12% in political donations
  • The increase in the price of charitable giving mostly benefits pro-business political parties
  • The drop in charitable donations is mostly driven by politically-involved non-profit organizations, pointing toward political motivations behind charitable giving


  • Julia Cagé, Sciences Po Paris, CEPR, France
  • Malka Guillot, Université of Liège, Belgium


  • press@wid.world.com
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