The Corporation Tax Elasticity of Charitable Donations

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With the continued downward pressure on corporation tax rates, this paper analyses the corporation tax elasticity of donations. There is strong evidence of an inverted U-shape relationship between corporation tax rates and donations. Donations are initially increasing at a decreasing rate as a function of the corporation tax rate and are maximised at a rate of 27 percent. Between 2014 and 2018 the UK corporation tax rate decreased from 21 percent to 19 percent. Our results indicate that – ceteris paribus – this equates to a 34 percent decrease in an average UK firm's donations. As corporation tax rates continue to decline, the potential revenue implications for charities are increasing in importance. The evidence also supports the theory of management utility maximisation as a determinant of corporate giving.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Early online date31 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2020


  • Charitable donations
  • Corporation tax rate
  • Management utility
  • Sustainability
  • Philanthropy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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