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Welfare impacts of a non-profit firm in mixed commercial markets

Gregory E. Goering

Economic Systems, 2008, vol. 32, issue 4, 326-334

Abstract: Utilizing a model that allows for the welfare of the commercial NPO's stakeholders directly in terms of their consumer surplus, and indirectly in terms of NPO profits, we explore the impact of changes in the NPO's "social concern" for consumers on market efficiency. Three separate Cournot mixed market scenarios are analyzed: competition between the NPO and a private for-profit firm, competition between the NPO and a public firm, and a market scenario that includes all three firms. We find that the technical efficiency of the NPO vis-à-vis the profit maximizer is crucial in determining whether social welfare rises or falls as the NPO places more weight on their stakeholders' surplus. In particular, if the NPO is less technically efficient than the profit maximizer or public firm, somewhat paradoxically social welfare may fall as the NPO shows a greater social concern for consumers. In other words, a movement away from pure profit maximizing behavior by a NPO may well be detrimental in these mixed commercial markets. We also show the additional sources of revenue available to a NPO may decrease the overall welfare in these mixed market situations.

Keywords: Mixed; markets; Technical; efficiency; Non-profit; firms (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecosys:v:32:y:2008:i:4:p:326-334