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Not-for-profit Provision of Public Services

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  • Patrick Francois

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Abstract

Not-for-profit firms are greatly over-represented in the childcare, medical care, education and care for the aged sectors where service providing workers, as well as purchasers, seem to care about the level or quality of service being provided. Since all individuals who care about service levels receive non-excludable benefits, these services have a public good element. Such care can be used to motivate employees to perform tasks beyond their strict job description. But such care only motivates effort if workers believe it affects the final level of provision. Since nonprofit status ensures management is not directly concerned with profit, or not answerable to owners with such concerns, it ensures workers' efforts 'matter' by committing the firm to not expropriating extra worker effort to lower costs or raise profits. Nonprofit firms can thus motivate their work force in a way that for-profit firms cannot match.

Suggested Citation

  • Patrick Francois, 2002. "Not-for-profit Provision of Public Services," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 02/060, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  • Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:02/060
    as

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    File URL: http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO/workingpapers/wp60.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alchian, Armen A & Demsetz, Harold, 1972. "Production , Information Costs, and Economic Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 777-795, December.
    2. Edward L. Glaeser, 2002. "The Governance of Not-For-Profit Firms," NBER Working Papers 8921, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Francois, Patrick, 2000. "'Public service motivation' as an argument for government provision," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 275-299, November.
    4. H. Naci Mocan & Erdal Tekin, 2003. "Nonprofit Sector and Part-Time Work: An Analysis of Employer-Employee Matched Data on Child Care Workers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 38-50, February.
    5. Oliver Hart & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. "The Proper Scope of Government: Theory and an Application to Prisons," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1127-1161.
    6. repec:hrv:faseco:30727607 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    structure; scope of government; publicly provided private good; altruism;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers

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