Discussion paper

DP9963 When warm glow burns: Motivational (mis)allocation in the non-profit sector

We build an occupational-choice general-equilibrium model of an economy with the non-profit sector financed through private warm-glow donations. Lack of monitoring on the use of funds implies that an increase of funds of the non-profit sector (because of a higher income in the for-profit sector, a stronger preference for giving, or an inflow of foreign aid) worsens the motivational composition and performance of the non-profit sector. If motivated donors give more than unmotivated ones, there exist two stable (motivational) equilibria. Linking donations to the motivational composition of the non-profit sector or a tax-financed public funding of non-profits can eliminate the bad equilibrium.


Verdier, T, G Aldashev and E Jaimovich (2014), ‘DP9963 When warm glow burns: Motivational (mis)allocation in the non-profit sector‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 9963. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp9963