IZA DP No. 6221: A Model of NGO Regulation with an Application to Uganda
published in: Economic Development and Cultural Change, 2015, 64 (1), 71-111
We develop a model of regulation of service-delivery NGOs, where future grants are conditional on prior spending of some minimal proportion of current revenue on direct project-related expenses. Such regulation induces some NGOs to increase current project spending, but imposes wasteful costs of compliance verification on all NGOs. Under a large class of parametric configurations, we find that regulation increases total discounted project expenditure over a regime of no regulation, when verification costs constitute no more than 15% of initial revenue. We characterize the optimal regulatory policy under these configurations. We apply our analysis to a large sample of NGOs from Uganda, and find regulation to be beneficial in that context.