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U.S.-Based Private Voluntary Organizations: Religious and Secular PVOs Engaged in International Relief & Development


  • Rachel M. McCleary
  • Robert J. Barro


We have constructed a new and substantial data set from 1939 to 2004 on U.S.-based private voluntary organizations (PVOs) engaged in international relief and development. The universe comprises PVOs registered with the federal government (U.S. Agency for International Development since the early 1960s). PVOs are classified by type among secular and 14 types of religious categories. Classifications were made for the date of founding and in 2004 (or last date of existence). We can therefore examine shifts in classification over time%u2014among religion types and between religious and secular. The data set has information on revenue and expenditure for each year. We distinguish revenue by source: federal, international organization, and private. We distinguish within these sources by grants, contracts, in-kind and cash donations, and so on. We break down expenditure into categories, including a division between international and domestic programs. This data set allows us to track trends in the overall universe of PVOs and by type of PVO in terms of numbers registered, income, expenditure, and sub-categories of income and expenditure. Analysis can now be conducted at the individual agency and aggregate levels for PVOs engaged in international relief and development and registered with the U.S. federal government from 1939 to 2004.

Suggested Citation

  • Rachel M. McCleary & Robert J. Barro, 2006. "U.S.-Based Private Voluntary Organizations: Religious and Secular PVOs Engaged in International Relief & Development," NBER Working Papers 12238, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12238
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David C. Ribar & Mark O. Wilhelm, 2002. "Altruistic and Joy-of-Giving Motivations in Charitable Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 425-457, April.
    2. Rachel M. McCleary & Robert J. Barro, 2006. "Religion and Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 49-72, Spring.
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    Cited by:

    1. Peter Nunnenkamp & Hannes Öhler, 2012. "Funding, Competition and the Efficiency of NGOs : An Empirical Analysis of Non‐charitable Expenditure of US NGOs Engaged in Foreign Aid," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 81-110, February.
    2. Aldashev, Gani & Verdier, Thierry, 2010. "Goodwill bazaar: NGO competition and giving to development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 48-63, January.
    3. repec:got:cegedp:109 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Aldashev, Gani & Jaimovich, Esteban & Verdier, Thierry, 2014. "When warm glow burns: Motivational (mis)allocation in the non-profit sector," CEPR Discussion Papers 9963, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Ronelle Burger & Indraneel Dasgupta & Trudy Owens, 2011. "A Model of NGO Regulation with an Application to Uganda," Working Papers 22/2011, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • L3 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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