Social Preferences and the Third Sector: Looking for a Microeconomic Foundation of the Local Development Path
The aim of the paper is to endorse the principle, recurrent in non-profit literature, that the third sector is an institution that supports the development process of economic systems. The third sector is considered as an institution that ÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂfavors, transmits and cementsÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂ the role of social preferences in a given economy and, in this way, it contributes to development. The paper thus considers two stances taken up in economic theory: (i) the theory of social preferences; (ii) the modern theory of development. These two stances do not exclusively and specifically refer to the third sector, and they generally follow parallel paths, rarely being aware of each other: in the paper, the third sector is assumed to form a bridge between them in that social preferences are supposed to be one of the driving forces in the change process of an economy.
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