How Charitable is the Charitable Contribution Deduction?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Section 170 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code is known as the "charitable contribution deduction." This Article explores the section's rationale as well as its effect on income/wealth distribution. It reaches the conclusion that the deduction can be justified on efficiency (mitigating the free-riding on public goods and asymmetric information problems) and democracy grounds, but is not "charitable," as its distributive effects are neutral or even regressive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-60
Number of pages24
JournalTheoretical inquiries in law
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Law


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