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Putting The Civil Society Sector On The Economic Map Of The World

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  • Lester M. Salamon
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    Abstract

    The past twenty-five years have witnessed a spectacular expansion of philanthropy, volunteering, and civil society organizations throughout the world. Indeed, we seem to be in the midst of a 'global associational revolution,' a worldwide upsurge of organized private voluntary activity. Despite the promise that this development holds, however, the nonprofit or civil society sector remains the invisible subcontinent on the social landscape of most countries, poorly understood by policymakers and the public at large, often encumbered by legal limitations, and inadequately utilized as a mechanism for addressing public problems. One reason for this is the lack of basic information on its scope, structure, financing, and contributions in most parts of the world. This lack of information is due in part to the fact that significant components of the nonprofit sector fall within the non-observed, or informal, economy, and in part to the way even the observed parts of this sector have historically been treated in the prevailing System of National Accounts (SNA). This paper provides an overview of a series of steps that have been taken over the past 20 years by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University in cooperation with colleagues around the world and, more recently, with officials in the United Nations Statistics Division and the International Labour Organization to remedy this situation, culminating in the issuance and initial implementation of a new United Nations Handbook on Nonprofit Institutions in the System of National Accounts and the forthcoming publication of a new International Labour Organization Manual on the Measurement of Volunteer Work. Taken together, these efforts point the way toward putting the civil society sector on the economic map of the world for the first time in a systematically comparative way. Copyright � 2010 The Author Journal compilation � CIRIEC 2010.

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    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics.

    Volume (Year): 81 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 2 (06)
    Pages: 167-210

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:annpce:v:81:y:2010:i:2:p:167-210

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    Cited by:
    1. Primož Pevcin, 2012. "Analysis of Cross-Country Differences in the Non-Profit Sector Size," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2012(2), pages 186-204.
    2. Gani Aldashev & François Libois & Joaquín Morales Belpaire & Astrid Similon, 2014. "Encouraging Private Ownership of Public Goods: Theory and Evidence from Belgium," Working Papers 1408, University of Namur, Department of Economics.
    3. Gani Aldashev & Marco Marini & Thierry Verdier, 2013. "Brothers in alms? coordination between nonprofits on markets for donations," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 293, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    4. Fowler, A.F. & Biekart, K., 2011. "Civic driven change: a narrative to bring politics back into civil society discourse," ISS Working Papers - General Series 529, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    5. Emiliana Mangone & ErikaMarie Pace, 2014. "(English) Civil Society in the Italian Reformed Healthcare System: A Role or Responsibility? (Italiano) La società civile nel sistema sanitaria italiano riformato: ruolo o responsabilità?," IRPPS Working Papers 63:2014, National Research Council, Institute for Research on Population and Social Policies.
    6. repec:aeg:report:2014-2 is not listed on IDEAS

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