Economic Freedom and Philanthropy

Originally published in SSRN

The correlations between economic freedom and human capabilities (e.g., income, health, education, happiness) are robust and well-documented. Using panel data for US charitable donations from itemized tax returns and the Economic Freedom of North America (EFNA) Index, we examine the state-level correlation between economic freedom and philanthropy in America. Contrary to common discourse, which points to economic freedom as a source of cultural and civic erosion, we find a strong correlation between economic freedom and charitable giving.

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