Quality, reputation and the choice of organizational form
This paper revisits the hypothesis that nonprofit organizations emerge in markets that are characterized by contractual incompleteness because they ensure consumers against opportunistic behavior. We extend the Glaeser and Shleifer [Glaeser, E., Shleifer, A., 2001. Not-for-profit entrepreneurs. Journal of Public Economics 81, 99-115] framework, which studies an entrepreneur's optimal choice of organizational form and service quality when quality is non-contractible into a repeated interaction setting. The main result is that when reputations can be sustained, then for-profit status is the preferred organizational form and high quality services are ensured. This finding suggests that existing explanations of nonprofit organizations that focus entirely on contractual imperfections in the producer/consumer relationship may be inadequate.
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