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


  • Lester M. Salamon


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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  • Lester M. Salamon, 2010. "Putting The Civil Society Sector On The Economic Map Of The World," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 81(2), pages 167-210, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:annpce:v:81:y:2010:i:2:p:167-210

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Aldashev, Gani & Marini, Marco & Verdier, Thierry, 2014. "Brothers in alms? Coordination between nonprofits on markets for donations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 182-200.
    2. Aldashev, Gani & Marini, Marco A. & Verdier, Thierry, 2015. "Governance of Non-Profit and Non-Governmental Organizations - Within- and Between- Organization Analyses: An Introduction," MPRA Paper 80447, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 10 Jan 2015.
    3. 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.
    4. Gani Aldashev & Esteban Jaimovich & Thierry Verdier, 2016. "Small is Beautiful: Motivational Allocation in the Non-Profit Sector," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2016-02, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    5. 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.
    6. Federica VIGANO & Andrea SALUSTRI, 2015. "Matching profit and Non-profit Needs: How NPOs and Cooperative Contribute to Growth in Time of Crisis. A Quantitative Approach," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 86(1), pages 157-178, March.
    7. repec:krk:eberjl:v:3:y:2015:i:3:p:123-141 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:aeg:report:2014-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. 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.
    10. Astrid SIMILON, 2015. "Self-Regulation Systems for NPO Coordination: Strenghts and Weaknesses of Label and Umbrella Mechanisms," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 86(1), pages 89-104, March.
    11. Aldashev, Gani & Jaimovich, Esteban & Verdier, Thierry, 2014. "When warm glow burns: Motivational (mis)allocation in the non-profit sector," CEPR Discussion Papers 9963, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. repec:krk:eberjl:v:3:y:2015:i:4:p:7-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. 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.
    14. Stefania Veltri & Giovanni Bronzetti, 2015. "A Critical Analysis of the Intellectual Capital Measuring, Managing, and Reporting Practices in the Non-profit Sector: Lessons Learnt from a Case Study," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 131(2), pages 305-318, October.

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