|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics|
|Editors||Steven Durlauf, Lawrence E Blume|
|State||Published - 2008|
Non-profit organizations are hybrids – private but with restricted ownership rights. This defining ‘nondistribution constraint’ reduces incentives to exploit underinformed customers and allows non-profits to depart from profit-maximizing behaviour, although costly enforcement of this constraint limits effectiveness. Non-profits' GDP share in the United States is about 30 per cent of the governmental non-defence share. Worldwide they employ about four per cent of the labour force. Non-profits receive public subsidies potentially justifiable by their provision of public goods. Sales of goods and services constitute the main source of non-profit revenues, but government grants and private donations are also important. Extensive research on the economic behaviour of non-profit, for-profit, and governmental organizations in mixed industries has disclosed systematic differences.