Research in Detail

Nicolas J. Duquette


Ok, uh, here’s everything associated with my research papers. You’re probably here because you clicked on a “more” link under one of the articles on the main research page. Here you’ll find research appendices, replication files, and other supplementary materials for papers that have them.

Inequality and Philanthropy

Abstract: From 1917 to 2012, donations by high-income households in the USA have moved inversely with income inequality. This association contradicts historical narratives and prevailing theory, both of which that imply that high-income households donate rising income shares when inequality increases. The negative correlation holds both unconditionally and after conditioning on other explanatory variables, at both the national and US state levels. Low payout ratios of foundations and endowed charities, combined with this observed relationship, imply that differences in charitable giving will tend to entrench, not reduce, inequality across places over time.

High-Income Giving in the United States 1917-2012

Explorations in Economic History, 2018, 70

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Spend or Save?

Abstract: Panel regression methods are used to estimate the links between nonprofits’ revenues by source and the uses of those revenues. While charities spend most types of revenue on program services, they overwhelmingly save revenue from donations. This is true for all types of charity by National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities code. This saving is not driven by donor restrictions or by short-term strategic shifts, but is consistent with expense smoothing over time. Policymakers should consider effects of donation incentives and government grants on the timing of outputs that result from different revenue sources.

Nonprofits’ Use of Donations and Other Revenues.

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 46(6): 1142-1165, December 2017

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Do Tax Incentives Affect Charitable Contributions?

Abstract: This paper estimates the effect of the charitable contribution tax deduction on charities' donation revenue from charities’ tax filings. A one percent increase in the tax cost of giving causes charitable receipts to fall by about four percent, an effect three times larger the consensus in the literature. Further analysis reveals substantial heterogeneity in the tax response by subsector: health care and home care are more tax-sensitive than other charities, while higher education and arts are less tax-sensitive. The results are consistent with substantial tax response heterogeneity within the sample and between sampled and unsampled charities, implying that the mean tax elasticity of charitable contributions is a poor predictor of tax incentive effects for individual charities.

Evidence from Public Charities’ Reported Revenues

Journal of Public Economics, 137: 51-69, May 2016

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How Johnson Fought the War on Poverty

Abstract: The successes and failures of President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty” have been debated for decades. This paper contributes a novel quantitative analysis to the vast historical literature on the War on Poverty’s political economy. We find that the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) overwhelmingly directed its funds toward high-poverty areas, while also investing in Democratic strongholds and areas with bigger swings in favor of the Democrats in the 1964 Presidential election. Finally, we find quantitative support for Alston and Ferrie’s hypothesis about the role of the Southern paternalism in shaping the modern U.S. welfare state.

The Politics and Economics of Funding at the Office of Economic Opportunity

with Martha J. Bailey

The Journal of Economic History 74(2): 351-388, June 2014

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