Public good theories of the non-profit sector: Weisbrod revisited

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50 Scopus citations


Burton Weisbrod's 1975 article, Toward a theory of the voluntary non-profit sector in a three-sector economy, models non-profit organisations as suppliers of public goods which are undersupplied by government to heterogeneous populations. This article examines the implications, extensions and empirical tests of the Weisbrod theory. It also examines the theories of pure and impure altruism, the heterogeneity hypothesis, and the various ‘publicness’ indexes of non-profit output. The commonalities between the public good model and the trustworthiness model of non-profit organisations are also explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-148
Number of pages14
JournalVoluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations: Official journal of the International Society for Third-Sector Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Strategy and Management


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