Nonprofit Collaboration and the Resurrection of Market Failure: How a Resource-Sharing Environment Can Suppress Social Objectives

Original Paper

Abstract

Collaboration and its promotion by funders continue to accelerate. Although research has identified significant transaction costs associated with collaboration, little empirical work has examined the broader, societal-level economic outcomes of a resource-sharing environment. Does an environment that encourages collaboration shift our focus toward certain types of social objectives and away from others? This paper uses agent-based Monte Carlo simulation to demonstrate that collaboration is particularly useful when resources are rare but a social objective is commonly held. However, collaboration can lead to bad outcomes when the objective is not commonly shared; in such cases, markets outperform collaborative arrangements. These findings suggest that encouraging a resource-sharing environment can lead to inefficiencies even worse than market failure. We also demonstrate that failure to account for transaction costs when prescribing collaboration can result in quantifiably lower outcome levels than expected.

Keywords

Collaboration Market failure Simulation Nonprofit collaboration Social market 

Résumé

La collaboration et sa promotion par les fondateurs continuent à s’accélérer. Bien que la recherche ait identifié d’importants coûts de transaction liés à la collaboration, peu de travaux empiriques ont étudié les résultats économiques plus larges au niveau sociétal d’un environnement de partage des ressources. Un environnement qui encourage la collaboration oriente-t-il notre priorité vers certains types d’objectifs sociaux et au détriment d’autres objectifs? Cet article utilise la simulation de Monte Carlo à base d’agents pour démontrer que la collaboration est particulièrement utile lorsque les ressources sont rares mais qu’un objectif social est communément admis. Toutefois, la collaboration peut conduire à de mauvais résultats lorsque l’objectif n’est pas généralement partagé. En pareil cas, les marchés dépassent les accords de collaboration. Ces résultats suggèrent que la promotion d’un environnement de partage des ressources peut conduire à une mauvaise utilisation des ressources, pire encore que la défaillance du marché. Nous démontrons également que l’incapacité à comptabiliser les coûts de transaction au moment d’imposer une collaboration peut entraîner des niveaux de résultats quantifiables plus faibles que prévus.

Zusammenfassung

Die Zusammenarbeit und ihre Förderung durch Geldgeber nimmt weiterhin zu. Zwar sind in Forschungsarbeiten die erheblichen Transaktionskosten in Verbindung mit einer Zusammenarbeit ermittelt worden; doch nur wenige empirische Arbeiten haben die weitläufigeren ökonomischen Folgen einer Ressourcenteilung auf der Gesellschaftsebene untersucht. Wird unser Fokus in einem Umfeld, das die Zusammenarbeit fördert, von bestimmten sozialen Zielen weg auf andere gelenkt? In diesem Beitrag wandte man die agentenbasierte Monte-Carlo-Simulation an, um darzulegen, dass die Zusammenarbeit inbesondere dann nützlich ist, wenn die Ressourcen rar sind, jedoch ein gemeinsames soziales Ziel verfolgt wird. Eine Zusammenarbeit kann hingegen negative Konsequenzen nach sich ziehen, wenn das Ziel nicht geteilt wird. In dem Fall sind die Märkte stärker als die Kooperation. Diese Ergebnisse lassen darauf schließen, dass die Förderung einer Ressourcenteilung zu Ineffizienzen führen kann, die schlimmer sind als ein Marktversagen. Zudem wird gezeigt, dass es zu unerwartet schwachen Ergebnissen kommen kann, wenn für die Transaktionskosten im Rahmen einer vorgeschriebenen Zusammenarbeit keine Rechenschaft abgelegt wird.

Resumen

La colaboración y su promoción por los financiadores sigue acelerándose. Aunque la investigación ha identificado costes de transacción significativos asociados a la colaboración, muy poco trabajo empírico ha examinado los resultados económicos más amplios a nivel societal de un entorno en el que se comporten recursos. ¿Un entorno que alienta la colaboración cambia nuestro foco de atención hacia determinados tipos de objetivos sociales y nos aleja de otros? El presente documento utiliza la simulación de Monte Carlo basada en agentes para demostrar que la colaboración es particularmente útil cuando los recursos son escasos pero se tiene en común un objetivo social. Sin embargo, la colaboración puede llevar a malos resultados cuando el objetivo no se comparte comúnmente; en dichos casos, los mercados superan los acuerdos de colaboración. Estos hallazgos sugieren que alentar un entorno en el que se compartan los recursos puede llevar a ineficiencias incluso peores que el fallo del mercado. También demostramos que la imposibilidad de dar cuenta de los costes de transacción cuando se prescribe colaboración puede dar lugar a niveles de resultados cuantificablemente más bajos de lo esperado.

摘要

投资者的协作及其推广继续加速。尽管研究已经发现,协作存在较高的交易成本,但很少有审核资源共享环境范围更广、社会层面的经济成果的经验工作。鼓励协作环境是否将我们的重心转到某些类型的社会目标并远离其他目标?本文使用基于代理的蒙特卡洛模拟,从而展示协作对于资源稀缺、但普遍持有社会目标的情况尤为有用。然而,当未普遍共享目标时,协作会导致坏的结果;在这种情况下,市场会胜过协作安排。这些调查结果建议,鼓励资源共享环境会导致低效,比市场失效更糟。我们还展示,规定合作而未说明交易成本会导致较预期更低的可量化结果水平。

要約

資金提供者の新興とコラボレーションは加速化している。本研究ではコラボレーションに関連する重要な取引コストを確認したが、実証的研究では環境を共有する資金において広範な社会的レベルの経済的成果は検証されてこなかった。共同作業を奨励する環境は、他からかけ離れて特定の社会的目的に向かって焦点をシフトするのだろうか。本論文では、エージェント・ベースのモンテカルロでのシミュレーションを使用して、コラボレーションが社会の目的として一般に維持されていれば、資金がほとんどなくても有効であることを示している。ただし、コラボレーションは目的が一般に共有化されていなければ、悪い結果につながる場合がある。このような場合、資金の共有環境を奨励することは、市場の失敗よりもさらに非効率的であることが示唆されている。また期待するよりも低い結果レベルにおける取引コストの説明不足を提示する。

ملخص

التعاون وتعزيزه من قبل الممولين مستمر في التعجيل به.على الرغم من أن البحث حدد تكاليف معاملات كبيرة مرتبطة بالتعاون،عمل تجريبي قليل درس النطاق الواسع، النتائج الإقتصادية على المستوى المجتمعي لبيئة تقاسم الموارد. هل البيئة التي تشجع التعاون تحول تركيزنا نحو أنواع معينة من الأهداف الإجتماعية بعيدا” عن الآخرين؟ يستخدم هذا البحث نموذج يستند على تقليد مونتي كارلو لإثبات أن التعاون مفيد بشكل خاص عندما تكون الموارد نادرة لكن عموما” يساند الهدف الإجتماعي. مع ذلك، يمكن أن التعاون يؤدي إلى نتائج سيئة عندما لا يكون الهدف مشترك عادة. في مثل هذه الحالات، الأسواق تتفوق على الترتيبات التعاونية. تشير هذه النتائج إلى أن تشجيع البيئة الي تتقاسم الموارد يمكن أن يؤدي إلى إنعدام الكفاءة الذي أسوأ من فشل السوق. نحن أيضا نثبت أن عدم حساب تكاليف المعاملات عند وصف التعاون يمكن أن يؤدي إلى وبكميات كبيرة إلى إنخفاض مستويات النتيجة عما كان متوقع.

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Copyright information

© International Society for Third-Sector Research and The Johns Hopkins University 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Romney Institute of Public ManagementBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA
  2. 2.Sanford School of Public PolicyDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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