'A Triple-Braided Cord': Empirical Analysis of Three Theories of Nonprofit Sector Density

25 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2014

See all articles by Elizabeth A.M. Searing

Elizabeth A.M. Searing

University of Texas at Dallas - Public and Nonprofit Management

Date Written: July 7, 2012

Abstract

The three primary strands of nonprofit formation and density are well-documented, though often as rivalrous as the nonprofit-government relationships often encased in such theories. Building on previous studies which utilize similar data to test isolated hypotheses, this paper utilizes a combination of new “digitized” data and established records of social trust and community characteristics to mount a simultaneous test of the three top theories: government failure, interdependence, and social capital. We find that all sources of funding exert substantial impact on a nonprofit’s choice of location, in addition to local levels of social capital and heterogeneous demand. Therefore, we find evidence that both demand (client-as-agent) and supply (nonprofit-as-agent) forces are at work in the nonprofit market. Though this suggests simultaneity, such a model would both acknowledge a complex system more closely resembling that of a modern marketplace for quasi-public goods and would support the existence of a triple-braided cord of established threads of thought that explains the resilience of the nonprofit sector to various causes of density.

Suggested Citation

Searing, Elizabeth A.M., 'A Triple-Braided Cord': Empirical Analysis of Three Theories of Nonprofit Sector Density (July 7, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2534754 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2534754

Elizabeth A.M. Searing (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Dallas - Public and Nonprofit Management ( email )

800 West Campbell Road
Richardson, TX 75080
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.elizabethamsearing.info

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