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The future of the nonprofit sector: Its entwining with private enterprise and government

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  • Burton A. Weisbrod

    (Department of Economics, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois)

Abstract

The nonprofit sector-neither private enterprise nor governmental-is growing rapidly, and not only in the United States. This article explores three questions about the sector, which includes large elements of such service industries as universities, hospitals, nursing homes, day-care centers, museums, social services, and organizations promoting medical research, environmental protection, and the arts. These questions are: (a) Why is the nonprofit sector expanding worldwide?; (b) How is the growth of nonprofits affecting other parts of the economy?; and (c) What evidence is there that nonprofits make a difference, that they perform functions which private firms or government cannot perform? A major theme is that the sector's growth necessitates finding ways to increase revenues, and that has brought side effects, particularly as nonprofits have become more and more “commercial.” In the process, borders between the nonprofit and both the for-profit and public sectors are being crossed increasingly, and with consequences that often pose problems.

Suggested Citation

  • Burton A. Weisbrod, 1997. "The future of the nonprofit sector: Its entwining with private enterprise and government," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(4), pages 541-555.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:16:y:1997:i:4:p:541-555
    DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1520-6688(199723)16:4<541::AID-PAM2>3.0.CO;2-G
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Preston, Anne E, 1988. "The Effects of Property Rights on Labor Costs of Nonprofit Firms: An Application to the Day Care Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(3), pages 337-350, March.
    2. Weisbrod, Burton A, 1983. "Nonprofit and Proprietary Sector Behavior: Wage Differentials among Lawyers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(3), pages 246-263, July.
    3. Lynk, William J, 1995. "Nonprofit Hospital Mergers and the Exercise of Market Power," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 437-461, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kvartiuk, Vasyl, 2015. "Participatory governance in rural development: Evidence from Ukraine," Studies on the Agricultural and Food Sector in Transition Economies, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO), volume 78, number 78.
    2. Paul A. Grout & Michelle J. Yong, 2003. "The Role of Donated Labour and Not for Profit at the Public/Private Interface," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 03/074, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    3. Erica Johnson & Aseem Prakash, 2007. "NGO research program: a collective action perspective," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 40(3), pages 221-240, September.
    4. repec:ovi:oviste:v:xvii:y:2017:i:1:p:439-444 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. John Bennett & Elisabetta Iossa, 2010. "Contracting out public service provision to not-for-profit firms," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(4), pages 784-802, October.
    6. repec:krk:eberjl:v:3:y:2015:i:3:p:123-141 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. McBeath, Bowen & Briggs, Harold E. & Aisenberg, Eugene, 2009. "The role of child welfare managers in promoting agency performance through experimentation," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 112-118, January.
    8. John Selsky & Barbara Parker, 2010. "Platforms for Cross-Sector Social Partnerships: Prospective Sensemaking Devices for Social Benefit," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 94(1), pages 21-37, July.
    9. Rosenfield Patricia L. & Wimpee Rachel, 2014. "A Versatile American Institution: The Changing Ideals and Realities of Philanthropic Foundations, David C. Hammack and Helmut K. Anheier. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2013, 273 p, $26.," Nonprofit Policy Forum, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 195-205, February.
    10. Goering, Gregory E., 2008. "Welfare impacts of a non-profit firm in mixed commercial markets," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 326-334, December.
    11. Murphy Haley & Robichau Robbie Waters, 2016. "Governmental Influences on Organizational Capacity: The Case of Child Welfare Nonprofits," Nonprofit Policy Forum, De Gruyter, vol. 7(3), pages 339-367, September.
    12. repec:krk:eberjl:v:3:y:2015:i:4:p:7-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. David Sappington & J. Sidak, 2003. "Incentives for Anticompetitive Behavior by Public Enterprises," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 22(3), pages 183-206, May.
    14. repec:pri:cpanda:wp30-dimaggio is not listed on IDEAS

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