Is the Supply of Charitable Donations Fixed? Evidence from Deadly Tornadoes
Benjamin M. Marx
- American Economic Review: Insights (Forthcoming)
Do natural disasters increase charitable giving or simply reallocate a fixed supply of
donations? We study this question using IRS data in the context of deadly tornadoes.
We find that, among ZIP Codes located in the same state but more than 20 miles
away from a tornado’s path, donations by households increase by about $2 million
per tornado fatality. We find no negative effects of tornado fatalities on donations to
charities located in these ZIP Codes. The results imply that giving in response to new
needs need not come at the expense of other causes.
Forthcoming Article Downloads