ePapers Repository

Economic analysis and the third sector: Overview of economic analysis in relation to the third sector

Westall, Andrea (2009) Economic analysis and the third sector: Overview of economic analysis in relation to the third sector. Working Paper. University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.


URL of Published Version: http://www.tsrc.ac.uk/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=8msSdWXzgTM%3d&tabid=500


This paper takes both a practical and critical view of economic analysis in relation to the third sector. It argues that there is no one kind of economic analysis but that a certain form of such thinking, and associated techniques, has become dominant in thinking and practice. That mainstream approach is appropriate for certain functions and understandings but can also act to funnel or prioritise certain dimensions of third sector activity, ignoring others. It is important therefore in any economic analytic work on the third sector to engage with different forms of economic theory and practice (such as ecological, or institutional economics) as well as cross-disciplinary approaches (such as geographical or socio-economics).
Economic analysis may often just apply to the relative impact of the third sector on accepted statistical dimensions of the economy, such as employment or GDP. This paper argues that this approach misses the many and complex ways in which different parts of the third sector may impact on economic activity in the UK. Ultimately, the aim of this paper is to range over issues of both practical and conceptual importance, in order to enable a more informed and contextualised sense of options, priorities, and possibilities for further in-depth work in the economic analysis of the third sector.

Type of Work:Monograph (Working Paper)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Number of Pages:26
Department:Third Sector Research Centre (TSRC)

Alcock, P., 2009. Briefing Paper 1: Research approach and strategy of TSRC. Birmingham: Third Sector Research Centre, Birmingham University.

Amir, et al., 2005. ‘Behavioural economics, psychology, and public policy’, Marketing Letters, Vol 16, No 3, pp 443-454. Springer.

Anheier, H. K., 2000. Managing non-profit organisations: towards and new approach. Civil Society Working Paper 1. London: London School of Economics. www.lse.ac.uk/collections/CCS/pdf/cswp1.pdf

Anheier, H. K. and Ben-Ner, A., 2003. The study of nonprofit enterprise: theories and approaches. Springer.

Atkinson, A. B. and Stilglitz, J. E., 1980. Lectures on public economics. McGraw Hill.

Bateman, I. Lovett, A. and Brainard, J., 2003. Applied environmental economics: a GIS approach to cost-benefit analysis. Cambridge University Press.

Becker, G. S. Landes, E. M. and Michael, R. T., 1997. An economic analysis of marital instability. The University of Chicago Press.

Bellinger, W., 2007. The Economic Analysis of Public Policy. Routledge.

Besley, T., 2002. Welfare economics and public choice. London School of Economics.

Birchall, J., 2002. A Mutual Trend: How to run rail and water in the public interest. New Economics Foundation.

Borzaga, C. and Defourney, J., 2001. The Emergence of Social Enterprise. Routledge.

Bridge, S. Murtagh, B. and O’Neill, K., 2009. Understanding the social economy and the third sector. Palgrave Macmillan.

Brück, T., 2006. The economic analysis of terrorism. Routledge.

Cowen, T. ed., 1988. The theory of market failure: a critical examination. George Mason University Press.

Davies, L., 2004. ‘Valuing the voluntary sector in sport: rethinking economic analysis’, Leisure Studies 23 (4), pp. 347-364. Routledge.

Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG), 2009. Multi-criteria analysis: a manual. DCLG. www.communities.gov.uk/publications/corporate/multicriteriaanalysismanual

Dees. J. G., 1998. ‘Enterprising nonprofits’, Harvard Business Review. pp. 55-67. Harvard Business Publishing.

Dietz, S. and Morton, A., 2009. Strategic Appraisal in environmental policy: a contrast between the UK’s Stern Review on the economics of climate change and its committee on radioactive waste management. London School of Economics.

Dollery, B. E. and Wallis, J. L., 2003. The political economy of the voluntary sector: a reappraisal of the comparative institutional advantage of voluntary organisations. Edward Elgar.

Easley, D. and O’Hara, M., 1983. ‘The Economic Role of the Nonprofit Firm’, The Bell Journal of Economics, 13, pp. 531-538. The Rand Corporation.

ECOTEC (2003) Guidance on Mapping Social Enterprise: Final report to the DTI Social Enterprise Unit, C2453. ECOTEC.


Enjoiras, B., 2000. ‘Coordination failure, property rights and non-profit organisations’, Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, 71, 3. Blackwell.

Ermisch, J. F., 2003. An economic analysis of the family. Princeton University Press.

Evers, A. and Laville, J-L., 2004. The third sector in Europe. Edward Elgar.

Hansmann, H., 1996. The Ownership of Enterprise. Harvard University Press.

Harrow, J., 2009. Thistles, roses, thorns: some reflections on third sector/government relations and policy expectations in economic downturn. Cass Business School, City University London.

Hausman, D. M. and McPherson, M. S., 1996. Economic Analysis and Moral Philosophy. 2nd edition. Cambridge University Press.

HM Treasury, 2003. The Green Book: Appraisal and evaluation in central government. London: TSO.

Goldstein, J. A., Hazy, J. K. and Silberstang, J. 2009. Complexity Science & Social Entrepreneurship: Adding social value through systems thinking. Institute for the Study of Coherence and Emergence.

James, E. and Rose-Ackerman, S., 1986. The Nonprofit Enterprise in market economies. Chur, Switzerland: Harwood Academic Press.

Kendall, J. and Knapp, M., 1996. The Voluntary Sector in the UK. Manchester University Press.

Kendall, J. ed., 2009 (forthcoming). Handbook on third sector policy in Europe: Multi-level processes and organised civil society. Edward Elgar.

Kingma, B. R., 1997. ‘Public good theories of the non-profit sector: Weisbrod revisited’, Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organisations, 8, 2. SpringerLink.

Local Government Association (LGA), 2007. Local Government Association: Thriving Local Communities: Mapping Sub Regions. PACEC.

Lohmann, R. A., 1992. The Commons: Perspectives on nonprofit organization and voluntary action. San Francisco CA: Jossey-Bass.

London Voluntary Service Council (LVSC), 2009. Third Sector Economic Downturn Research. LVSC. www.lvsc.org.uk/files/101301/FileName/TSdownturnmapping.pdf

Manski, C. F., 2000. ‘Economic analysis of social interactions, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 14 (3), pp. 115-136. American Economic Association.

Martin, R., 1999. ‘The new ‘geographical turn’ in economics: some critical reflections’, Cambridge Journal of Economics, 23, pp. 65-91. Oxford University Press.

Miller, D., ed., 2005. Beyond benefit cost analysis: accounting for non-market values in planning evaluation. Ashgate.

Mohan J. and Wilding K., 2009. Economic downturns and the voluntary sector: what can we learn from historical evidence? Policy Paper 85. London: History and Policy.

Mustafa, H., 1994. ‘Conflict of multiple interests in cost-benefit’, International Journal of Public Sector Management, 7 (3). Emerald.

Nelson, J. A., 1996. ‘The masculine mindset of economic analysis’, The Chronicle of Higher Education 42(42), June 28, 1996, p. B3. www.btinternet.com/~pae_news/Nelson.htm

Ortmann, A. and Schlesinger, M., 1997. ‘Trust, repute and the role of non-profit enterprise’, Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organisations, 8:2. Springer.

Parkinson, C. and Howorth, C., 2008. ‘The language of social entrepreneurs’, Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, Vol 20, 3, pp. 285-309. Routledge.

Peattie, K. and Morley, A., 2008. ‘Eight Paradoxes of the Social Enterprise Research Agenda’, Social Enterprise Journal. Emerald.

Polanyi, K., 1944. The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time. Boston: Beacon Press.

Rauschmayer, F., 2000. ‘Ethics of multicriteria analysis’ International Journal of Sustainable Development, Vol 3, No 1, pp 16-25. Inderscience.

Rima, I. H., 2001. Development of Economic Analysis. 6th edition. Routledge.

Rose-Ackerman, S., 1996. ‘Altruism, nonprofits, and economic theory’, Journal of Economic Literature, 34. American Economic Association.

Royal Society (2005) Royal Society response to the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change. Royal Society. http://royalsociety.org/document.asp?id=4139

Rushton, M., 2005. Government Contracting with Faith-Based Providers: an economic perspective, Working Paper 05-04, Nonprofit Studies Program. Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.

Salamon, L. M. Geller, S. L. and Spence K. L., 2009. Impact of the 2007-09 Economic recession on nonprofit organisations, Communique No 14 29/6/09. John Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies, http://www.ccss.jhu.edu/pdfs/LP_Communiques/LP_Communique_14.pdf

Sen, A., 1999. Development as freedom. Oxford University Press.

Steinberg, R., 2004. The economics of nonprofit enterprises. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Gorden, H., 2009. ‘Age Concern Scotland takes on economic adviser’, Third Sector, 20th January. Haymarket.

Tomassi, M. and Ierulli, K., 1995. The new economics of human behaviour. Cambridge University Press.

Weisbrod, B. A., 1975. ‘Toward a theory of the nonprofit sector’, in Phelps, E. ed., Altruism, Morality and Economic Theory. New York: Russell Sage.

Weisbrod, B. A., 1997. ‘The Future of the Nonprofit Sector: Its Entwining with Private Enterprise and Government’, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 16, 4. Wiley.

Uzawa, H., 2005. Economic analysis of social common capital. Cambridge University Press

Series/Collection Name:TSRC Working Paper Series
Keywords:Third sector, economics, measurement, economic models, market failure
Subjects:H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Related URLs:
Funders:Economic and Social Science Research Council, Office for Civil Society, Barrow Cadbury Trust
ID Code:801

Export Reference As : ASCII + BibTeX + Dublin Core + EndNote + HTML + METS + MODS + OpenURL Object + Reference Manager + Refer + RefWorks
Share this item :
QR Code for this page

Repository Staff Only: item control page