Providing for the Common Good through Taxation and Donation: An Explorative Study.

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Abstract

One of the biggest challenges to governments and institutions is to find arrangements that overcome the free-riding problem inherent in the voluntary and mandatory provision of common goods, especially in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis. In economic literature, taxation and charitable donations have been seen has two different ways – one ‘public’, the other one ‘private’ – to provide for the common good. Psychological literature, instead, failed to study taxation and donations in conjunction. Moreover, the social representation of the notion of ‘common good’ has not been investigated from a psychological perspective. The present study aims therefore to be a first exploratory study on the subject, in order to provide insights on the representations that citizens share on ‘common good’ and ‘providing for the common good’ through taxation and charitable donations. In-depht interviews have been conducted using the Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) approach, incorporating a photoelicitation technique to help participants engage with themes which are abstract and rarely reflected on. The main results show that there is not fully awareness about how one provides for the common good; taxation and charitable donations are both seen as indirect ways to provide for the common good, rather than direct ones (such as respecting civic duties, doing voluntary work, etc.); money seems to have a negative symbolic value; outcomes seem to matter most when taxes are involved (e.g. public services), while the genuineness of the gesture seems to matter most in relation to charitable donations. In conclusion, the study helped shedding some light and preliminary insights on the research objects. Further investigation (e.g. quantitative studies) might allow a better understanding of the antecedents of the financial provision of common goods.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospite1a Conferenza Nazionale delle Dottorande e dei Dottorandi di Scienze Sociali - book of abstract
Pagine11
Numero di pagine1
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2017
Evento1ST NATIONAL PHD CONFERENCE IN SOCIAL SCIENCES - Padova
Durata: 23 giu 201625 giu 2016

Convegno

Convegno1ST NATIONAL PHD CONFERENCE IN SOCIAL SCIENCES
CittàPadova
Periodo23/6/1625/6/16

Keywords

  • charitable donations
  • common good
  • economic psychology
  • tax behaviour
  • visual methods

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