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Financing constraints in nonprofit organisations: A 'Tirolean' approach


  • Jegers, Marc


For the first time a stylised model, in the tradition of corporate finance models for profit organisations described by Tirole (2006), is developed in order to understand the existence of financial constraints in nonprofit organisations and their relationship with the presence of agency problems. Financial constraints can be expected to arise when there are no substantial opportunities to increase revenues from fundraising and when nonprofit managers might not be willing to exert high fundraising efforts. Furthermore, under these circumstances more agency problems lead to lower debt levels. In situations without expected financial constraints, more agency problems are shown to go together with higher debt levels. Extending watchdog agencies' assessment methods to include default payments can limit or even eliminate financial constraints. The model also allows to understand why larger and chain affiliated organisations should suffer less from financing constraints. The very scant empirical literature's findings on the matter are shown to be reconcilable with the model's predictions.

Suggested Citation

  • Jegers, Marc, 2011. "Financing constraints in nonprofit organisations: A 'Tirolean' approach," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 640-648, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:17:y:2011:i:3:p:640-648

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Richard Steinberg, 1986. "The Revealed Objective Functions of Nonprofit Firms," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(4), pages 508-526, Winter.
    2. Wedig, Gerard J., 1994. "Risk, leverage, donations and dividends-in-kind: A theory of nonprofit financial behavior," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 257-278.
    3. Sloan, Frank A. & Valvona, Joseph & Hassan, Mahmud & Morrisey, Michael A., 1988. "Cost of capital to the hospital sector," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 25-45, March.
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