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Not-For-Profit Entrepreneurs

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  • Edward L. Glaeser
  • Andrei Shleifer

Abstract

Entrepreneurs who start new firms may choose not-for-profit status as a means of committing to soft incentives. Such incentives protect donors, volunteers, consumers and employees from ex post expropriation of profits by the entrepreneur. We derive conditions under which completely self-interested entrepreneurs opt for not-for-profit status, despite the fact that this status limits their ability to enjoy the profits of their enterprises. When entrepreneurs have a taste for producing high quality products, the incentives are even softer, and, moreover, non-profit status can serve as a signal of that taste. We also show that even in the absence of tax advantages, unrestricted donations would flow to non-profits rather than for-profit firms because donations have more significant influence on the decisions of the non-profits.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward L. Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "Not-For-Profit Entrepreneurs," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1852, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:harver:1852
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L30 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - General
    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship

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