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The future of the nonprofit sector: Its entwining with private enterprise and government

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  • Burton A. Weisbrod

    (Department of Economics, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois)

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    Abstract

    The nonprofit sector-neither private enterprise nor governmental-is growing rapidly, and not only in the United States. This article explores three questions about the sector, which includes large elements of such service industries as universities, hospitals, nursing homes, day-care centers, museums, social services, and organizations promoting medical research, environmental protection, and the arts. These questions are: (a) Why is the nonprofit sector expanding worldwide?; (b) How is the growth of nonprofits affecting other parts of the economy?; and (c) What evidence is there that nonprofits make a difference, that they perform functions which private firms or government cannot perform? A major theme is that the sector's growth necessitates finding ways to increase revenues, and that has brought side effects, particularly as nonprofits have become more and more “commercial.” In the process, borders between the nonprofit and both the for-profit and public sectors are being crossed increasingly, and with consequences that often pose problems.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

    Volume (Year): 16 (1997)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 541-555

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:16:y:1997:i:4:p:541-555

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    Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/34787/home

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    References

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    1. Lynk, William J, 1995. "Nonprofit Hospital Mergers and the Exercise of Market Power," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 437-61, October.
    2. Weisbrod, Burton A, 1983. "Nonprofit and Proprietary Sector Behavior: Wage Differentials among Lawyers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(3), pages 246-63, July.
    3. Preston, Anne E, 1988. "The Effects of Property Rights on Labor Costs of Nonprofit Firms: An Application to the Day Care Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(3), pages 337-50, March.
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    Cited by:
    1. Goering, Gregory E., 2008. "Welfare impacts of a non-profit firm in mixed commercial markets," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 326-334, December.
    2. Paul DiMaggio, 2003. "Nonprofit Organizations and the Intersectoral Division of Labor in the Arts," Working Papers 37, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies..
    3. McBeath, Bowen & Briggs, Harold E. & Aisenberg, Eugene, 2009. "The role of child welfare managers in promoting agency performance through experimentation," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 112-118, January.
    4. David Sappington & J. Sidak, 2003. "Incentives for Anticompetitive Behavior by Public Enterprises," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 183-206, May.
    5. John Selsky & Barbara Parker, 2010. "Platforms for Cross-Sector Social Partnerships: Prospective Sensemaking Devices for Social Benefit," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 94(1), pages 21-37, July.
    6. Erica Johnson & Aseem Prakash, 2007. "NGO research program: a collective action perspective," Policy Sciences, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 221-240, September.
    7. Paul A. Grout & Michelle J. Yong, 2003. "The Role of Donated Labour and Not for Profit at the Public/Private Interface," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 03/074, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.

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