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Are big charities becoming more dominant? Cross-sectional and longitudinal perspectives

Are big charities becoming more dominant? Cross-sectional and longitudinal perspectives
Are big charities becoming more dominant? Cross-sectional and longitudinal perspectives
There is a debate surrounding the implications of big charities’ increasing dominance of total charitable income, but no empirical work which assesses whether indeed big charities are becoming increasingly dominant. We provide this assessment from both cross‐sectional and longitudinal perspectives, using a panel data set with information on charities’ income in England and Wales between 1997 and 2008. From a cross‐sectional perspective, examining trends in income concentration ratios, there is no evidence that the biggest charities account for a growing share of total charity income over the period of analysis. However, the longitudinal perspective, which relates income growth over the period to initial size, shows that initially large charities have significantly higher median relative growth rates than the initially small. Substantively, these results are relevant to government plans for the ‘Big Society’, which rest in part on the ability of smaller, community‐based charities as well as the bigger voluntary bodies to thrive and grow. Methodologically, for studies which examine trends in the distribution of income, these results illustrate the additional insights that are provided by the longitudinal perspective which cannot be inferred from repeated cross‐sectional information.
0964-1998
761-776
Backus, Peter
20acbd71-77c4-4fa7-8821-8e3230c3c695
Clifford, David
9686f96b-3d0c-48d2-a694-00c87b536fde
Backus, Peter
20acbd71-77c4-4fa7-8821-8e3230c3c695
Clifford, David
9686f96b-3d0c-48d2-a694-00c87b536fde

Backus, Peter and Clifford, David (2013) Are big charities becoming more dominant? Cross-sectional and longitudinal perspectives. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society), 176 (3), 761-776. (doi:10.1111/j.1467-985X.2012.01057.x).

Record type: Article

Abstract

There is a debate surrounding the implications of big charities’ increasing dominance of total charitable income, but no empirical work which assesses whether indeed big charities are becoming increasingly dominant. We provide this assessment from both cross‐sectional and longitudinal perspectives, using a panel data set with information on charities’ income in England and Wales between 1997 and 2008. From a cross‐sectional perspective, examining trends in income concentration ratios, there is no evidence that the biggest charities account for a growing share of total charity income over the period of analysis. However, the longitudinal perspective, which relates income growth over the period to initial size, shows that initially large charities have significantly higher median relative growth rates than the initially small. Substantively, these results are relevant to government plans for the ‘Big Society’, which rest in part on the ability of smaller, community‐based charities as well as the bigger voluntary bodies to thrive and grow. Methodologically, for studies which examine trends in the distribution of income, these results illustrate the additional insights that are provided by the longitudinal perspective which cannot be inferred from repeated cross‐sectional information.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 1 November 2012
Published date: June 2013
Organisations: Social Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 339780
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/339780
ISSN: 0964-1998
PURE UUID: a3652ec6-d053-4196-bb13-089562e1c64c

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Date deposited: 30 May 2012 13:51
Last modified: 08 Oct 2018 16:32

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Author: Peter Backus
Author: David Clifford

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