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Intermediation by aid agencies

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  • Colin Rowat and Paul Seabright

Abstract

This paper models aid agencies as financial intermediaries that do not make a financial return to depositors, whose concern is to transfer resources to investor-beneficiaries. This leads to a problem of verifying that the agency is using donations as intended. One solution to this problem is for an agency to employ altruistic workers at below-market wages: altruistic workers, who can monitor the agency's activities, would not work at below-market rates unless it were genuinely transferring resources to beneficiaries. We consider conditions for this solution to be incentive compatible. In a model with pure moral hazard, observability of wages makes incorporation as a not-for-profit firm redundant as a commitment device. In a model with both moral hazard and adverse selection, incorporation as a not-for-profit firm can serve as a costly commitment mechanism reassuring donors against misuse of their funds. Hiring a worker of low ability can also be a valuable commitment device against fraud.

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File URL: ftp://ftp.bham.ac.uk/pub/RePEc/pdf/080508JDEaid.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Birmingham in its series Discussion Papers with number 05-16.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bir:birmec:05-16

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Postal: Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT
Web page: http://www.economics.bham.ac.uk
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Related research

Keywords: signalling; non-profit; wage differential; donations; altruism; two-sided market;

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References

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  1. Patrick Francois, 2002. "Not-for-profit Provision of Public Services," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 02/060, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  2. Besley, Timothy J. & Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2004. "Competition and Incentives with Motivated Agents," CEPR Discussion Papers 4641, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. H. Naci Mocan & Erdal Tekin, 2003. "Nonprofit Sector and Part-Time Work: An Analysis of Employer-Employee Matched Data on Child Care Workers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 38-50, February.
  4. Handy, Femida & Katz, Eliakim, 1998. "The Wage Differential between Nonprofit Institutions and Corporations: Getting More by Paying Less?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 246-261, June.
  5. Christopher Ruhm & Carey Borkoski, 2000. "Compensation in the Nonprofit Sector," NBER Working Papers 7562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Preston, Anne E, 1989. "The Nonprofit Worker in a For-Profit World," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(4), pages 438-63, October.
  7. Armstrong, Mark & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1999. "Multi-dimensional screening:: A user's guide," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 959-979, April.
  8. Maggi G. & Rodriguez-Clare A., 1995. "On Countervailing Incentives," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 238-263, June.
  9. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1986. "Price and Advertising Signals of Product Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 796-821, August.
  10. Edward L. Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "Not-For-Profit Entrepreneurs," NBER Working Papers 6810, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. William Easterly, 2003. "Can Foreign Aid Buy Growth?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 23-48, Summer.
  12. Myerson, Roger B., 1982. "Optimal coordination mechanisms in generalized principal-agent problems," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 67-81, June.
  13. Reinikka, Ritva & Svensson, Jakob, 2004. "Working for God?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4214, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ghosh, Suman & Van Tassel, Eric, 2011. "Microfinance and competition for external funding," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 112(2), pages 168-170, August.
  2. Aubert, Cécile & de Janvry, Alain & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 2009. "Designing credit agent incentives to prevent mission drift in pro-poor microfinance institutions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 153-162, September.
  3. Aldashev, Gani & Verdier, Thierry, 2007. "NGO Competition and the Markets for Development Donations," CEPR Discussion Papers 6350, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Marek Hudon & Daniel Traca, 2006. "On the efficiency effects of subsidies in microfinance: an empirical inquiry," Working Papers CEB 06-020.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Ghatak, Maitreesh & Mueller, Hannes, 2011. "Thanks for nothing? Not-for-profits and motivated agents," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 94-105.
  6. Aubert, Cecile, 2006. "Work incentives and household insurance: Sequential contracting with altruistic individuals and moral hazard," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 82-88, July.
  7. Ghosh, Suman & Van Tassel, Eric, 2013. "Funding microfinance under asymmetric information," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 8-15.
  8. Aldashev, Gani & Verdier, Thierry, 2010. "Goodwill bazaar: NGO competition and giving to development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 48-63, January.
  9. Ronelle Burger & Trudy Owens, . "Promoting transparency in the NGO sector: Examining the availability and reliability of self-reported data," Discussion Papers 08/11, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.
  10. Aubert, Cécile, 2006. "Work incentives and household insurance: Sequential contracting with altruistic individuals and moral hazard," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/13655, Paris Dauphine University.
  11. Vlassopoulos, Michael, 2007. "Volunteer hiring, organizational form and the provision of mission-oriented goods," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0707, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.

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