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Analysis of the non-profit sector in Europe

The main goal of the dissertation thesis is to identify the possible factors that influence the relative size of the non-profit welfare sector among the European Union countries in order to shed some new lights on the relationships existing between the development of the non-profit sector and the public sector when they both act as providers of welfare services in EU member states. The object of our study is represented by the non-profit welfare sector in Europe. Our sample includes 17 EU member countries. The research methodology employs simple and multiple linear regressions (OLS method) in order to estimate the relationships between the nonprofit and public providers of welfare services. Furthermore, for better identify the existence ofpotential relationships between the public and non-profit sectors among EU members, we employ a cluster analysis technique for preliminarily detecting similarity and dissimilarity in the way EU member countries deal with the provision of welfare services. From our research findings, it appeared that the relative size of the non-profit and public welfare sectors varies significantly among EU countries. Not only do countries vary considerably in the size of their welfare sectors but also they vary in the extent to which these sectors are financially related. Our analysis found out that among the several factors influencing the size of the non-profit welfare sector, the most important are represented by the governmental behavior toward the nonprofit organizations. Our regression analysis found fundamentally positive signs of the coefficients on the public sector and government subsidies. Also, it found positive signs of the coefficients on the philanthropy, confirming the financial dependence of the non-profit sector from private individual whose demand for welfare services has not been satisfied by either the market or the state. Furthermore, the evidence here reported did not so easily reject the existence of a positive effect of the membership fees and service charges on the size of the non-profit welfare sector. At the very end, it seems quite hard to support the prevalence of a specific factor as main determinant of the size of the non-profit welfare sector among European countries, mainly when we consider the non-profit sector as a more complex social phenomenon. The main evidence provided by this analysis does not fully confirm the existence of a common and unique European model in the provision of welfare services among the sample countries. Rather, three different models or patterns of relationship between the non-profit and public welfare sectors are evident in Europe. We conclude undoubtedly that for the European Union countries included in our sample there exists significant supplementarity among the factors influencing the size and growth of the non-profit sector and, more specifically, in the way EU countries rely on the nonprofit and public sector for the provision of welfare services.

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1. INTRODUCTION Economic activity in a mixed economy is undertaken by various kinds of organizations: private for-profit (FP), private non-profit (NP) and public (PUB) organizations. Following Kuviková (2004, p. 18), in chart 1 we graphically shows a typical business activity’s partition among the three sectors within an industry. NATIONAL ECONOMY FOR-PROFIT SECTOR NON-PROFIT SECTOR Private Private Public Non-Governmental Governmental Local NON-PROFIT SECTOR Chart 1: Economic activity distribution among for-profit, private non-profit and public sector. Source: Adapted from Kuvíková, 2004, p. 18. We start our analysis aware that the “distribution of economic activity between such sectors varies significantly among industries and geographic regions” (Ben-Ner, Van Hoomissen, 1992, p. 392). Also “over time the size and structure of the economic actors tend to change according to the different socio-economic pattern of development of each geographic region” (Marcuello, 1998, p. 177). Weisbrod (1998, p. 85-86) argues that although, many industries are mixed, little attention has been paid to the forces influencing the size, composition and financial structure of 17

Tesi di Dottorato

Dipartimento: Economia Pubblica

Autore: Domenico Raguseo Contatta »

Composta da 142 pagine.


Questa tesi ha raggiunto 496 click dal 01/09/2009.

Disponibile in PDF, la consultazione è esclusivamente in formato digitale.