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Compensation in the Nonprofit Sector

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  • Christopher Ruhm
  • Carey Borkoski

Abstract

This analysis provides an in-depth investigation of the determinants of pay in the nonprofit sector. The main findings are as follows. First, holding constant individual characteristics, average weekly wages are 11 percent lower in nonprofit than for-profit jobs. However, this difference is entirely explained by the concentration of nonprofit employment in relatively low paid industries. Second, an accompanying longitudinal analysis, focusing on movements of workers between nonprofit and profit-seeking employers, suggests a nonprofit penalty of between 2 and 4 percent. Third, nonprofit workers in three specific industries (hospitals, nursing/personal care facilities, social services) earn as much or more than their for-profit counterparts. However, the effects of changing the type of employment varies substantially across the three industries. These results raise questions about several predominant models of nonprofit wage-setting.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher Ruhm & Carey Borkoski, 2000. "Compensation in the Nonprofit Sector," NBER Working Papers 7562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7562
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    1. Joyce R. Shackett & John M. Trapani, 1987. "Earnings Differentials and Market Structure," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 22(4), pages 518-531.
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    3. Frech, H E, III, 1976. "The Property Rights Theory of the Firm: Empirical Results from a Natural Experiment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(1), pages 143-152, February.
    4. Macpherson, David A & Hirsch, Barry T, 1995. "Wages and Gender Composition: Why Do Women's Jobs Pay Less?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(3), pages 426-471, July.
    5. Roomkin, Myron J & Weisbrod, Burton A, 1999. "Managerial Compensation and Incentives in For-Profit and Nonprofit Hospitals," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 750-781, October.
    6. A. G. Holtmann & Todd L. Idson, 1993. "Wage Determination of Registered Nurses in Proprietary and Nonprofit Nursing Homes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(1), pages 55-79.
    7. Susan Rose-Ackerman, 1996. "Altruism, Nonprofits, and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 701-728, June.
    8. Handy, Femida & Katz, Eliakim, 1998. "The Wage Differential between Nonprofit Institutions and Corporations: Getting More by Paying Less?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 246-261, June.
    9. Leete, Laura, 2001. "Whither the Nonprofit Wage Differential? Estimates from the 1990 Census," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 136-170, January.
    10. George J. Borjas & H. E. Frech III & Paul B. Ginsburg, 1983. "Property Rights and Wages: The Case of Nursing Homes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 18(2), pages 231-246.
    11. Goddeeris, John H, 1988. "Compensating Differentials and Self-selection: An Application to Lawyers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 411-428, April.
    12. Barbara R. Bergmann, 1974. "Occupational Segregation, Wages and Profits When Employers Discriminate by Race or Sex," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 103-110, April.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • J4 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets

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