The Governance of Not-For-Profit Firms
AbstractMany factors including incentive-pay, powerful shareholders, and takeover threats push for-profits managers towards maximizing shareholder value. One of the most striking factors about non-profit firms is that they have no comparable governance institutions, and the only check on managers are boards that are themselves rarely responsible to anyone outside the firm. This essay discusses the implications of these weak governance institutions on non-profit behavior. A primary implication is that non-profits will often evolve into organizations that resemble workers' cooperatives. The primary check on this tendency is the need of the organizations to compete in outside markets. After presenting a model of non-profit behavior, I look at four different sectors (hospitals, museums, universities and the church). All display significant signs of capture by elite workers, but all still perform their basic missions reasonably, probably because of market competition.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8921.
Date of creation: May 2002
Date of revision:
Note: LE PE
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance
- H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2002-05-14 (All new papers)
- NEP-MIC-2002-05-14 (Microeconomics)
- NEP-PBE-2002-05-14 (Public Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- McCormick, Robert E & Meiners, Roger E, 1988. "University Governance: A Property Rights Perspective," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(2), pages 423-42, October.
- Pauly, Mark V & Redisch, Michael, 1973. "The Not-For-Profit Hospital as a Physicians' Cooperative," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(1), pages 87-99, March.
- David M. Cutler & Jill R. Horwitz, 1998. "Converting Hospitals from Not-for-profit to For-profit Status," NBER Working Papers 6672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rodolfo Apreda, 2002. "Incremental cash flows, information sets and conflicts of interest," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. 220, Universidad del CEMA.
- Rodolfo Apreda, 2003. "THE SEMANTICS OF GOVERNANCE. (The common thread running through corporate, public, and global governance.)," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. 245, Universidad del CEMA.
- Zahra, Shaker A. & Gedajlovic, Eric & Neubaum, Donald O. & Shulman, Joel M., 2009. "A typology of social entrepreneurs: Motives, search processes and ethical challenges," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 519-532, September.
- C. Du Bois & R. Caers & M. Jegers & C. Schepers & S. De Gieter & R. Pepermans, 2004. "Agency problems and unrelated business income of non-profit organizations: an empirical analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(20), pages 2317-2326.
- Martin Gaynor & Robert J. Town, 2011. "Competition in Health Care Markets," NBER Working Papers 17208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.