How Efficient Is Private Charity?

January 15, 2011 at 8:49 AM

Asking on the The New York Times‘s economics blog how efficient private charity is, Princeton prof Uwe Reinhardt notes that “many Americans have the notion that private charities are more efficient than government can ever be…[T]o many Americans this notion, which is nothing more than a hypothesis, is an axiom, a statement so self-evident that it does not require proof.”

Reinhardt examines the issue and discusses efforts (such as Charity Navigator‘s) to rate charities’ economic efficiency, and points the way toward determining the relative efficiency of charity versus government, but offers no conclusions.

Giving Click tends to accept axiomatically the greater efficiency of private charity, but perhaps we err in doing so. More research here would be welcome, but it would probably constitute a major undertaking.

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Entry filed under: Economic Issues.

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