Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The non-profit sector as a foundation for the interaction among the social economy, the public sector and the market

Salustri, Andrea and Viganò, Federica (2017): The non-profit sector as a foundation for the interaction among the social economy, the public sector and the market.

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Abstract

The paper introduces a theoretical model to show how in a territorial framework characterized by spatial inequalities, the availability of goods and services decreases moving from central to peripheral areas. Specifically, private firms and public administrations might supply an insufficient level of goods and services in socially and/or physically remote areas due to lack of market size and higher distance costs. Peripheralization, therefore, often implies economic marginalization and political exclusion. Against this backdrop, non-profit organizations can foster local development rebalancing, or at least narrowing, economic and social inequalities, but a territorial dualism between a core linked to global patterns of development and marginalized peripheries left to autarchic forms of subsistence might emerge. To avoid territorial polarization and revive equitable and sustainable development, it is important to empower cooperative and social enterprises, as the latter exert a productive and distributive function that at the same time improves workers’ employability, facilitates market access for local initiatives, and raises the factor productivity of market activities.

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