Embedded Government Control and Nonprofit Revenue Growth

Na NI, Xueyong ZHAN

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


This research combines insights from resource dependence and institutional theories to examine the growth of Chinese nonprofit revenues. The authors propose the concept of embedded government control (EGC) to capture the complexity of the government–nonprofit relationship along two dimensions: government regulation of nonprofits’ public fund-raising qualifications and the political embeddedness of nonprofits with the government. Using a data set of 2,159 Chinese philanthropic foundations for the period 2005–12, the authors test hypotheses about the implications of EGC for nonprofit revenues in China following two major external shocks: the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008 and the Guo Meimei scandal in 2011. The empirical analysis shows that EGC can help philanthropic foundations obtain more government subsidies, donations, and market revenues. However, external shocks may either strengthen or weaken the enabling role of EGC in helping foundations acquire relatively more donations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)730-742
Number of pages13
JournalPublic Administration Review
Issue number5
Early online date17 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

The authors contributed equally and are listed in alphabetical order. We would like to thank the Public Administration Review editors and the anonymous reviewers who provided excellent comments and suggestions. We also thank Donal Crilly, Chris Marquis, Ning Liu, Shui-Yan Tang, Zhou Zhang, and Weiting Zheng for their constructive comments on earlier versions of this article. We are grateful for the research assistance of Zhongye He and Jitao Ou. Na Ni was supported by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (Project no. 71602121). Xueyong Zhan was supported by a Central Research Grant (Project no. G-YN60) of Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 by The American Society for Public Administration.


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