Book chapter
Open access

Behavioural philanthropy. Harnessing behavioural sciences to design more effective tax incentives for philanthropy

Published inThe Routledge Handbook of Taxation and Philanthropy, Editors Henry Peter, Giedre Lideikyte Huber, p. 354-376
PublisherLondon : Routledge
Publication date2021-12-14
First online date2021-12-08

We introduce behavioural philanthropy, a novel interdisciplinary approach examining philanthropic decisions from the perspective of individual decision-makers. Such an approach is relevant to policymakers and law researchers who design tax-based incentives to stimulate private engagement in philanthropy. Behavioural philanthropy relies on insights from psychology, economics, and law to understand the motives that drive individuals, unveil patterns in behaviour, and identify the key forces that shape decisions in the context of philanthropy. In the first section, we highlight the relevance of individual contributions to philanthropy. Following this, we review and discuss extant research that underlies the motivations of individuals engaging in philanthropic behaviours, analyses some weaknesses of the existing approaches, and highlights the benefits of producing data in controlled environments, such as in laboratory settings. We believe that integrating the benefits of these approaches into behavioural philanthropy will: 1) promote the understanding of the psychological and affective mechanisms supporting philanthropic decision making, 2) help build new sound theories that rely on precise computational models and allow for a mechanistic understanding of the complex behaviours in philanthropy, and 3) provide implications for behaviourally informed policy that could help design efficient tax schemes to generate the most impactful giving and welfare systems across the globe.

  • Behavioral philanthropy
  • Tax incentives
  • Tax policy
  • Charitable donations
Citation (ISO format)
BERNARDIC, Ursa et al. Behavioural philanthropy. Harnessing behavioural sciences to design more effective tax incentives for philanthropy. In: The Routledge Handbook of Taxation and Philanthropy. London : Routledge, 2021. p. 354–376.
Main files (1)
Book chapter (Published version)
  • PID : unige:157029

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