Constraining Managers without Owners: Governance of the Not-for-Profit Enterprise
Mihir A. Desai, Robert J. Yetman
In the absence of owners, how effective are the constraints imposed by the state in promoting effective firm governance? This paper develops state-level indices of the legal and reporting rules facing not-for-profits and examines the effects of these rules on not-for-profit behavior. Stronger non-distribution constraints are associated with greater charitable expenditures and foundation payouts while more stringent reporting requirements are associated with lower insider compensation. The paper also examines how governance influences an alternative metric of not-for-profit performance -- the provision of social insurance. Stronger governance measures are associated with intertemporal smoothing of resources and greater activity in response to negative economic shocks.