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Rational Nonprofit Entrepreneurship


  • Marc Bilodeau
  • Al Slivinski


This paper derives the decision to found a nonprofit firm as the equilibrium outcome of a multistage game among individuals who would like a public good to be provided. The model predicts that if individuals will voluntarily contribute towards provision of the public good, then it is in the self-interest of the entrepreneur to impose a nondistribution constraint on herself by founding a nonprofit firm. Copyright (c) 1998 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Marc Bilodeau & Al Slivinski, 1998. "Rational Nonprofit Entrepreneurship," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(4), pages 551-571, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jemstr:v:7:y:1998:i:4:p:551-571

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
    2. Rose-Ackerman, Susan, 1987. "Ideals versus Dollars: Donors, Charity Managers, and Government Grants," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(4), pages 810-823, August.
    3. Sugden, Robert, 1982. "On the Economics of Philanthropy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(366), pages 341-350, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christoph Starke & Steffen Burchhardt, 2014. "Revealing the Preferences of Social Financiers," FEMM Working Papers 140002, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
    2. Ghatak, Maitreesh & Mueller, Hannes, 2011. "Thanks for nothing? Not-for-profits and motivated agents," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1-2), pages 94-105, February.
    3. Paul Makdissi & Cyril Téjédo, 2000. "Problèmes d’appariement et politique de l’emploi," Cahiers de recherche 00-04, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke.
    4. John Baldwin & Petr Hanel & David Sabourin, 2000. "Les déterminants des activités d’innovation dans les entreprises de fabrication canadiennes : le rôle des droits de propriété intellectuelle," Cahiers de recherche Statistique Canada No 11F, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke.
    5. Slivinski, Al, 2002. " Team Incentives and Organizational Form," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 4(2), pages 185-206.
    6. James Andreoni, 1998. "Toward a Theory of Charitable Fund-Raising," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1186-1213, December.
    7. Ballou, Jeffrey P. & Weisbrod, Burton A., 2003. "Managerial rewards and the behavior of for-profit, governmental, and nonprofit organizations: evidence from the hospital industry," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 1895-1920, September.
    8. Vesterlund, Lise, 2003. "The informational value of sequential fundraising," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 627-657, March.
    9. Bilodeau, Marc & Slivinski, Al, 1997. "Rival charities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 449-467, December.
    10. Patrick Francois, 2001. "Employee Care and the Role of Nonprofit Organizations," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 157(3), pages 443-443, September.
    11. Petra Brhlikova & Andeas Ortmann, 2006. "The Impact of the Non-distribution Constraint and Its Enforcement on Entrepreneurial Choice, Price, and Quality," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp299, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    12. Edward Nissan & Maria-Soledad Castaño & Inmaculada Carrasco, 2012. "Drivers of non-profit activity: a cross-country analysis," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 303-320, April.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods


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