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Working paper

The Quasi-Markets Of Social Services: The Competitiveness Of Russian Nonprofit Organizations Against For-Profit Organizations And Public Providers

This paper explores the competitive bidding process in eight regions of Russia where local governments entered into. The bidding documents have been analyzed in terms of the type of provider ownership, public or private, levels of nonprofit activity, and nonprofit competitiveness. The findings indicate considerable discrepancies between the numbers of competitive tenders for social services in the regions in question. The types of social services that local governments procure vary significantly from region to region. It is suggested that these differences are an essential factor in nonprofit participation. The most active nonprofit involvement is found in regions where procured services are that which the nonprofits usually produce. The results reveal a substantial lack of competition in Russian social service quasi-markets. In many cases, nonprofit organizations can be competitive in terms of competitive bidding in Russia; however, this result raises questions about the quality of social services procured by local and regional authorities.