Electronic Thesis/Dissertation


Essays on Poverty and Charity Open Access

We examine how we can increase charitable giving and why it is hard for poor countries/individuals to escape poverty even with large aid in this dissertation. We suggest heterogeneous tax incentives as a policy tool to increase contributions. Furthermore, we present the existence of multidimensional and interlocking poverty traps as a reason that the poor stay in poverty.We introduce new approaches to research on poverty traps, focusing on changes in patterns of equilibria over time and across regions, applied to the Ethiopia Rural Household Survey. One of three major regions in rural Ethiopia exhibits a deeply impoverished equilibrium (a stagnant low-level single equilibrium). Moreover, we introduce an econometric analysis of multiple and possibly interlocking poverty traps, involving two or more simultaneous distinct poverty dimensions. We find evidence of complementarity of inputs in household asset growth functions. This negative complementarity involves the existence of multidimensional and interlocking poverty traps.In light of the relative paucity of empirical research on the impact of tax incentives on charitable giving outside western countries, empirical research on this topic in South Korea is valuable in order to compare effects across different tax regimes and in different institutional environments. Using the Korean Labor and Income Panel Study (KLIPS), we find that the tax price elasticity is significant and the magnitude is around 0.8. Using the Censored Quantile regression with instrumental variables (CQIV), we find that the price elasticity of giving is very heterogeneous among donors, while income has a uniform and positive effect over the whole range of the giving distribution significantly.Generosity of each household could differ based on each household's characteristics and endowments. We focus on religiosity in chapter 5. Using four waves of Center on Philanthropy Panel Study (COPPS) within the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), we find that religious generosity extends into secular realm as a form of participation rates. Moreover, we find no evidence that there is difference in the effect of tax incentives on giving between the religious and the non-religious.

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