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Christmas lights in Berlin: New empirical evidence for the private provision of a public good

Beate Jochimsen ()

No 19-04, FiFo Discussion Papers - Finanzwissenschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge from University of Cologne, FiFo Institute for Public Economics

Abstract: The phenomenon of private contributions to public goods is broadly discussed in the literature. However, the possibility to verify theoretical results empirically is often limited because sufficient data on donors is lacking. Christmas lights in Berlin have been completely financed with private contributions. As sufficient information on donors is available, this setting offers the rare possibility to explore their characteristics. On a theoretical fundament, two questions are addressed: First, which characteristics are responsible for the decision to donate at all, and second, what determines the size of the donation. Using a Heckman selection model we show, first, that traditional public finance theory can be confirmed. Economically stronger potential contributors are more like to donate and donate higher amounts. Second, status drives the decision to donate, too. Third, profit maximization is a further motive to donate and influences the donated amount. The results are robust to various controls. They offer the opportunity to address potential donors more specifically and, hence, should be of interest for future attempts to raise private donations.

Keywords: private Provision of a public good; charitable contributions; motivation of donors Private Bereitstellung eines öffentlichen Gutes; wohltätige Spenden; Motivation der Spendenden (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H41 D01 D64 C12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp and nep-ore
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:zbw:uoccpe:1904

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