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Principal-Agent Theory and Nonprofit Accountability


  • Richard Steinberg

    (Department of Economics, Indiana Unviersity-Purdue University Indianapolis)


This synthetic literature review briefly summarizes general literature on principalagent problems, then shows how this literature has been or can be adapted to look at nonprofit governance, accountability, and performance. It concludes with discussions of differences between agency problems in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors and difficulties in developing normative theories of accountability.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Steinberg, 2008. "Principal-Agent Theory and Nonprofit Accountability," Working Papers wp200803, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:iup:wpaper:wp200803

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    Principal Agent theory; Contract Failure; Nonprofit Organizations; Privately-Provided Public Good; Fundraising; Donations; Incentive Compensation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • L30 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - General
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods


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