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Credit-checking firm Experian reported a jump in full-year profit and revenue on Wednesday as it highlighted significant progress in consumer services.
During the year, the company added 11m free members in the USA, 12m in Brazil and 1. All regions delivered strong growth thanks to increased memberships, the scaling of its credit marketplaces, and the addition of new propositions to the ecosystem to help its members save money. Chief executive Brian Cassin said: "We have made major steps forward in consumer services, which is transforming the shape of our business, and we also progressed materially a series of strategic initiatives in business-to-business.
While we are closely monitoring the global macroeconomic trends, we are confident in our strong track record of robust and resilient performance. Steve Clayton, HL Select fund manager, who holds Experian in his portfolio, said: "Some may argue that the forward guidance from the company is a little lower than some analysts might have been hoping for. From where we sit this is more about the macro frame the company are operating in.
Everyone can see that the outlook is getting weaker, with inflation gnawing away at consumers spending power. Please update your billing details here to continue enjoying your subscription. Your subscription will end shortly. Please update your billing details here to continue enjoying your access to the most informative and considered journalism in the UK. Accessibility Links Skip to content. Menu Close.
Log in Subscribe. Brazil boosts Experian. Patrick Hosking , Financial Editor. Friday July 15 , Globally, Experian posted organic revenue growth of 8 per cent and total growth of 9 per cent.
The principles on which this special treatment is founded are not clearly formulated Hansmann, ; however, since not-for-profit organizations existed before these government-conferred advantages, this favored status would not appear to be causative. A number of theories attempt to explain the existence of not-for-profit organizations. One is that the not-for-profit organization is optimal when information regarding the quality or quantity of service is asymmetric in favor of the seller Hansmann, ; Easley and O'Hara, ; Bays When consumers are at an informational disadvantage, the market may not provide sufficient discipline to prevent a for-profit producer from marketing inferior services at excessive prices—a welfare loss for consumers and, by extension, for society.
In such a case consumers are better served by a not-for-profit producer. Although it, too, could cut quality or raise prices, according to this theory its managers have little incentive to do so, because they are prohibited from sharing in any excess profits.
Often the complexity of these services, their nonstandard character, and the circumstances under which they are provided make it difficult for the consumer to determine whether the services are performed adequately.
Thus, the patron has an incentive to seek some constraints on the organizations' behavior beyond those he is able to impose by direct, private contract. Hansmann, According to this theory, then, not-for-profit firms would be dominant in markets in which the quality of the product is difficult to monitor, because the preferences of consumers for the ostensible protection of the not-for-profit form would make it difficult or impossible for for-profit producers to remain in the market.
However, we observe the continued existence of both forms in the nursing home and clay-care industries, where presumably information asymmetry exists and where transferring to a different provider is difficult James and Rose-Ackerman, Forthcoming. Other goods and services for which quality is difficult to ascertain are produced almost entirely by for-profit firms; examples are legal and medical services, personal computers, and used cars Ben-Ner, ; James and Rose-Ackerman, Forthcoming.
On empirical grounds, then, it appears that information asymmetry alone does not explain the presence of not-for-profit organizations. An alternative theory is proposed by Ben-Ner , who theorizes that the not-for-profit organization emerges in response to consumers' desire for control. According to his model, consumers may choose to establish their own organization in preference to taking their chances in the marketplace. A group of parents might start its own day-care center, for example.
The not-for-profit firm e. The nondistribution constraint reduces the tendency by managers of such organizations to misrepresent or produce lower quality. Ben-Ner does not discuss another alternative available to consumers, which is to form coalitions to reduce or remove information asymmetry by sharing information, seeking expert advice, or conducting research. Weisbrod , characterizes not-for-profit organizations as responses to failures by government rather than failures by the private market.
According to this theory, government responds to society's average demand for public services, conveyed through its collective-choice mechanisms. This average, however, underrepresents those members of society who have a very high demand for governmental services, as well as those whose tastes differ from the average. A private school, for example, can be a means for citizens to meet their demand for higher quality or to meet their special religious, linguistic, or other preferences.
Thus, this model suggests that not-for-profit organizations arise to meet the heterogeneous demands of consumers for public and quasi-public services that are not fully met by the government's standardized output. A somewhat different model proposes that the government delegate the production of certain public or quasi-public goods to not-for-profits rather than producing them itself James and Rose-Ackerman, Forthcoming.
According to this model, private production may offer the advantage of lower costs, because private firms can charge fees to cover some of their costs e.
Not-for-profit organizations also offer the potential for receiving donations of money and in-kind services that is not offered by for-profit firms. The subsidy or grant to a not-for-profit organization is often used by government when it desires to purchase intangible services for which it is difficult to measure the quid pro quo. Too, policymakers may wish to provide more differentiated services, but may be bureaucratically unable to do so except by subsidizing private organizations.
Thus, economic theory offers several explanations for why some goods and services are produced by not-for-profit firms. The theory suggests that not-for-profit production may exist as a response to consumers' need for protection when the good or service cannot be observed or its quality accurately evaluated, as a response to differential demand for public or quasi-public goods when government has difficulty providing other than standardized output, as a means for government's achieving lower-cost production of certain public goods, or for a combination of these reasons.
The rationale for the existence of not-for-profit firms, however, does not answer other important questions such as, what decision rules characterize the use of economic resources by these firms? In particular, how do their decisions about what to produce, and in what quantities, differ from the decisions of for-profit firms? Theories addressing these questions are reviewed in the following section. Traditional economic theory treats the management structure and decision-making process as a black box.
The firm is characterized by an objective function that represents either a single decision maker or the result of interactions and the resolution of any conflicts among stockholders, trustees, and managers. The basic model hypothesizes that, irrespective of how decisions are made, the firm's objective is to maximize profits. More recent theories of the for-profit firm, discussed below, take greater cognizance of the role of managers and the possibility that profit maximization may not be their sole or even their primary objective.
Economic theories of the behavior of not-for-profit firms generally ascribe to them objectives other than profit i. In the simplest not-for-profit model the objective is to maximize output. If the not-for-profit organization produces a single product, such as day care, receives all its revenues from the sale of that product, and has the same cost structure as a for-profit producer, in the short run the not-for-profit firm will produce more of the product than the profit-maximizing firm, but at a higher cost.
However, if there are no barriers to prevent new firms either not-for-profit or for-profit from entering the industry, over the long run their entry will cause the industry, to become as efficient as if it were entirely populated by profit-maximizing producers.
This picture becomes more complicated, however, in the more relevant case in which a not-for-profit firm receives unrestricted donations and produces more than one product.
Whether the not-for-profit firm's long-run output is greater or lesser than that of the for-profit firm under these conditions—which are characteristic of not-for-profit hospitals and private educational institutions—will depend on the objectives of managers. If not-for-profit managers and their donors desire to produce higher levels of some or all of their outputs serving greater numbers of people, for example , these levels will be obtained at the expense of efficiency in comparison with the profit-maximizing firm in a competitive industry.
As discussed below, however, the hospital industry has substantial entry barriers and other characteristics that cause it to differ from the purely competitive model. The fact that a not-for-profit firm's managers do not share in any surplus resulting from efficiency and the fact that they usually have access to donated revenues not tied to specific production are offered as positive reasons for the existence of not-for-profit organizations.
These characteristics also may have potential negative effects. For instance, whereas stockholders can exercise control of managers of for-profit firms, or, in extreme cases, takeovers via the capital market can perform the role of selecting managers who maximize profits through efficient production, such mechanisms are not available in the not-for-profit arena.
The attenuation of "property rights" managers' rights to any residual earnings or capital gains in the case of not-for-profits can encourage "shirking," choice of inefficient inputs, and production of a nonoptimal mix of outputs James and Rose-Ackerman, Forthcoming; Sloan, Forthcoming.
Managers of not-for-profit organizations may accord themselves high salaries, "perks" such as plush offices, or lavish expense accounts; they also may choose an inefficient production technology, e.
Lee's model of the not-for-profit hospital, for example, suggests that it will acquire sophisticated equipment and highly trained personnel beyond the point required for production in order to enhance the prestige of the organization and, by extension, its managers. The ability of a not-for-profit hospital to continue to operate in this manner should be limited by the extent to which for-profit firms can enter the market and drive down the price through competition, but the availability of donations can cushion the not-for-profit manager from the pressures of competition.
Models of not-for-profit organizations often include the objective of maximizing quality Newhouse, ; however, the effect of this objective on consumer welfare is ambiguous. If not-for-profits produce higher quality and charge higher fees prices to cover the added costs, then consumers can infer quality from the fees, and those consumers who desire higher quality and are willing to pay the additional cost can choose to do so. If, however, the higher quality is paid for out of donations, fees may be the same for both high-quality and low-quality providers.
In this case other sorting methods will be utilized, such as waiting lists in the case of high-quality not-for-profit nursing homes or day-care centers. In the case of not-for-profit organizations that have multiple outputs e. The profit-maximizing firm theoretically will not do so, because its optimal strategy is to produce each product line to the point where marginal costs and marginal revenues are equal.
The manager of a not-for-profit organization, however, may pursue the goal of producing outputs that he values e. The surplus then can be used to subsidize the valued outputs.
The sale of gifts and T-shirts to subsidize the exhibits and research activities of the Metropolitan Museum and the Smithsonian Institution is one example. The provision of well-reimbursed ancillary services to subsidize a coronary care unit is another. As with preferred inputs, however, the ability of not-for-profit managers to engage in cross-subsidization over time is limited to the extent that new firms may enter and compete away the profits on the products that are providing the subsidies.
Thus, not-for-profits' continued discretion over the production of desired outputs over time requires barriers to entry, donations, or both. This discretionary behavior by managers does not necessarily coincide with the preferences of donors or with maximum social welfare. The presence of entry barriers and asymmetric information suggests that profit-maximizing firms may not operate efficiently in industries such as hospital care and education.
However, there also is a question of whether pure profit maximization is the sole objective of private firms in this or indeed any industry. Alternative models have been suggested that give greater weight than does the traditional model to the preferences of managers.
Baumol , for example, develops a model that characterizes the firm as maximizing total revenues, subject to the constraint that stockholders receive a sufficient return to make the firm's securities attractive in the capital market.
Such a firm will behave, according to the theory, very similarly to a not-for-profit firm. Also similarly, this type of behavior can be sustained only if there are entry barriers. Another model, from Williamson , suggests that managers of for-profit firms prefer certain expenditures to others because they contribute to the managers' status and security. This model is analogous to the input-preference model of not-for-profit behavior discussed previously.
However, as distinct from Baumol's model, Williamson's model gives a greater weight to profits, because they permit the firm to expand, which also provides prestige to the manager. Both models predict that the firm will favor certain factors of production and will produce some outputs beyond profit-maximizing levels, behaviors that also are attributed to the not-for-profit firm and that imply nonefficient production.
This review of the theoretical literature comparing the behavior of not-for-profit with for-profit enterprises suggests that for-profit organization results in greater efficiency i. These circumstances do not appear to typify the hospital industry. Hospital managers may well have preferences and objectives that differ from profit maximization, including the enhancement of their organization's prestige; the provision of specific services that further this or other goals; the provision of charitable care, teaching, or research; and the improvement of their own professional status.
Also, this is an industry in which there are substantial entry barriers. The capital requirements to start a hospital are large. Too, certificate-of-need regulations greatly constrain the ability of firms to enter the hospital industry. Hospital services are extremely complex, and most consumers have little or no direct experience for evaluating them, nor do they always have the opportunity to obtain information from others before seeking these services.
Thus, information asymmetry with its potential market failure is likely to be present for many hospital services. However, the issue of information asymmetry depends crucially on the role of the physician.
If, as Hansmann suggests, the physician acts as the patient's knowledgeable agent with respect to assessing the quality of hospital services, the hospital is faced with a powerful constraint on its ability either to cheat on quality or to produce services on which consumers and their physicians place little value.
If, on the other hand, physicians dominate hospital decision making and direct it toward maximizing their own incomes, as Pauly and Redisch and others have suggested, the quantity and mix of services produced would be that which satisfies the preferences of physicians rather than the preferences of consumers or managers. The nature of hospital services and the characteristics of the hospital industry, pose the question of whether for-profit production will achieve the optimal levels of efficiency and consumer satisfaction that the competitive market model predicts.
Thus, while the nonprofit organization appears to compare unfavorably with the competitive ideal, this standard of comparison probably is inappropriate in the hospital industry. For-profit hospitals, because of entry barriers, information asymmetry, and the ambiguity of the physician's role as the consumer's agent, may not be presumed to produce the quantity and quality of services desired by society at an efficient price.
At the same time, economic theory, suggests that there also may be reasons why not-for-profit hospitals do not behave in socially optimal ways.
Even though managers of not-for-profits cannot receive directly a share of any monetary surplus, the presence of donations and entry barriers and the absence of stockholder pressures may allow them considerable leeway to use resources and to produce services according to their own preferences. These preferences may or may not be consistent with those of society. This discussion has not addressed the crucial issue of how services are to be distributed. According to standard economic theory, the profit-maximizing firm in a competitive economy sells its product at the market price to anyone who wants to buy at that price and who can afford it.
Thus, the competitive market distributes goods and services in accord with the existing income distribution. If society prefers that hospital services be distributed more equitably, and if managers of not-for-profit hospitals share society's preferences, then these hospitals may be superior to for-profit hospitals when judged in terms of societal well-being.
The terms "for-profit," "investor-owned," and "proprietary" are all used in this report to refer to organizations that are owned by individuals and corporations such as institutional investors to whom profits are distributed. Such organizations stand in contrast to organizations that are incorporated under state laws as nonprofit or not-for-profit organizations.
The defining characteristics of both types of organizations are discussed later in this chapter. Terms within each set are not used in a consistent fashion in the literature.
Nevertheless, the committee sees some differences in connotation among the terms and has attempted to use terminology appropriately and consistently as follows. The term "proprietary" is used to connote the traditional independent owner-operated institution for example, hospital, nursing home, or home health agency.
The term "investor-owned" is used to connote companies rather than institutions that have a substantial number of stockholders.
The term "for-profit" encompasses both. A drawback of the term "for-profit'' is that it seems to define organizations in terms of assumed behavior—that is, that such organizations will seek to maximize profit, because by definition that is their purpose. However, the committee sees organizational behavior not as a matter for definition but as a topic to be investigated empirically. On the other side, the committee prefers the term "not-for-profit" over the term "nonprofit," both because the term "not-for-profit" conveys a direct contrast with the term "for-profit" and because the term "nonprofit" often is incorrectly interpreted to mean that the organization has or should have no surplus of revenues over expenses.
That is again an empirical question, not a matter of definition. Both for-profit and not-for-profit types of ownership stand in contrast to "public" or "government" ownership. Most health care institutions in the United States are private, not public, and the debate about for-profit versus not-for-profit ownership of health care institutions should not be misconstrued as a debate about public versus private ownership.
Except where explicitly noted, the public or government-owned institutions referred to in this report are owned by state or local governments, not the federal government. For example, the merging health care supply companies, Baxter Travenol and American Hospital Supply Corporation, both have home care subsidiaries; several insurance companies e.
Grace and Co. The term "efficiency" appears in the report because for-profit organizations are commonly alleged to be more efficient than public or not-for-profit organizations. However it should be recognized that because "efficiency" refers to the comparative cost at which a given good or service is produced, it can be properly studied only when there is a high degree of standardization of the good or service being produced.
This condition seldom holds in studies of health care costs. Data tend to be available only on such measures as expenses per day or per case. Whether differences in such measures indicate differences in efficiency or are due to differences in the service being produced is, unfortunately, generally conjectural.
Of course, in addition to such boards and top management, centrally managed multi-institutional systems, whether for-profit or not-for-profit, typically also have separate boards and management at the local institutional level.
The amount of local authority over institutional affairs is variable. Stock options are a form of long-term compensation characteristic of growth-oriented companies, because they are a method of rewarding employees usually executives for company growth and they sometimes substitute for higher salaries, thereby increasing the amount of corporate earnings that can be devoted to growth.
The price at which the option to purchase a given amount of the stock is offered to an employee is often only slightly below the current market value. The option, which is typically for a period of years, becomes valuable when the value of the stock increases. Public institutions share some of the characteristics of not-for-profits most important, the restrictions on distributing surpluses to the individuals controlling the organization, although in the case of public institutions, surpluses commonly are returned to the public treasury , but have several key differences: They are owned not by a state-chartered corporation but by government itself federal, state, or local ; they are directly or indirectly under control of elected officials; a significant portion of their operating budgets and capital needs often comes in the form of direct governmental appropriations; and their responsibilities often explicitly in-elude providing care to patients without insurance or the ability.
Hansmann has labeled these two types as donative and commercial not-for-profits, respectively. The concerns and arguments about the appropriateness of markets as the mode of distribution of health services parallel more general arguments about market societies that go back more than two centuries.
As Hirschman has shown, there is a very. Thinkers such as David Hume and Adam Smith saw the growth of commercialism as enhancing such virtues as "industriousness and assiduity the opposite of indolence , frugality, punctuality, and, most important perhaps for a market society, probity,," and would create as a by-product "a more 'polished' human type—more honest, reliable, orderly and disciplined, as well as more friendly and helpful, ever ready to find solutions to conflicts and a middle ground for opposed opinions" Hirschman, The opposing thesis, among both Marxist and conservative thinkers, was that the emergence of a capitalist society fundamentally undermined the proper moral foundations of society—that religiously based virtues truth, trust, acceptance, restraint, obligation, and cooperation would be threatened or destroyed by market society's pursuit of individual self-interest rather than the general interest Hirschman, ; Hirsch, Multiple tiers in health care are, of course, not new and are particularly exemplified by the split between public and private institutions.
Multiple tiers also have existed within institutions See Duff and Hollingshead, , although this has been diminished substantially by governmental funding programs, particularly Medicare and Medicaid. To illustrate this ethos, Forbes Magazine noted with approval Republic Health's strategies for maximizing profits by identifying surgical procedures that can be "done quickly, often in a few hours, without lots of nurses, tests, meals or general care" and marketing them to the public "just as hotels market cut rate weekends.
The hospital accepted whatever Medicare was willing to pay and charged the patient no deductible. Without raising occupancy, 1, more patients were treated at the hospital in than in Willingness to duplicate services without respect to need is, of course, in no way peculiar to the for-profit sector, as the experience of the past 20 years including the history of the health planning program and the growth of surplus beds clearly shows.
Competitive impulses of a slightly different nature e. A fourth sector, households, principally engages in selling its labor services to one of the other sectors and using its earnings to purchase goods and services. Household production for the most part consists of home maintenance and repair, care of children and infirm adults, food preparation, and the like, activities that are not generally monetized.
Defining the standards of such access and devising mechanisms to ensure it are central problems in all societies, of course. The efficiency-equity dilemma has been explored by Okun In the case of certain not-for-profits—religious, educational, health, scientific, cultural, and social service organizations—donor contributions also are tax deductible.
Others, chiefly membership groups such as social clubs, fraternal organizations, and labor unions, are tax-exempt but donations are not Rudney, The legal requirement that a nonprofit organization's costs must be reasonable is intended to deter such behavior. Turn recording back on. Help Accessibility Careers.
Search term. Questions Examined in this Report In preparing this report the committee focused on the following major questions in seeking to illuminate for-profit health care and the issues associated with it: 1.
The Diverse Ownership of American Health Care Organizations In our highly decentralized and pluralistic health care system, health care is provided by a mixture of for-profit, secular and religious not-for-profit, and public institutions, some of which are independent and some of which are a part of multi-institutional systems.
TABLE 1. Investor Ownership The purpose of investor-owned corporations in general is to make money for investors—to preserve and enhance the economic value of the invested capital. Not-For-Profit Organizations Although state laws under which not-for-profit organizations are incorporated vary in their requirements, a not-for-profit corporation is barred by its charter from "distributing its net earnings, if any, to individuals who exercise control over it, such as members, officers, directors, or trustees" Hansmann, The Value Question Although a large portion of this report is devoted to comparisons and contrasts in the behavior of institutions with different types of ownership, the argument about for-profit health care is as much about values as it is about facts.
Health Care as Economic Good The view, oversimplified here, that personal health care in contrast to public health measures is much like other consumer goods also implies that marketplace forces and the operation-for-profit motive are largely beneficial. Health Care as Social Good A contrasting set of views opposes the idea that health care is properly seen as an economic good that is appropriately bought, sold, and disciplined by competitive forces in a marketplace.
As Starr put the argument, The contradiction between professionalism and the rule of the market is long-standing and unavoidable. Economic Good Versus Social Good The contrasting views of health care as economic good and as social good involve a complex mix of values, assumptions, beliefs, and assertions.
Relationship of Physicians to Health Care Organizations The framework for the committee's examination of the relationship between physicians and organizations rests on two premises. Fleming Health Care in the U. Beverly Hills, Calif. Economic Trends 1 Spring. SMS Report 4 February. New York Times November 25 : Section 3. Braybrooke, David Ethics in the World of Business.
Totowa, N. The New England Journal of Medicine Clark, Robert C. Harvard Law Review 93 May Clearinghouse Review present Chicago, Ill. Douglas, James Why Charity? The Case for a Third Sector. Drucker, Peter F. The Public Interest 77 Fall Duff, Raymond S.
Hollingshead Sickness and Society. New York: Harper and Row. Bell Journal of Economics 14 Autumn Hansmann, Henry B. Yale Law Journal 89 April Hirsch, Fred Social Limits to Growth. Cambridge, Mass. Hirschman, Albert O. Journal of Economic Literature 20 December Horty, John F. Gray, editor.
The New Health Care for Profit. Washington, D. Jonsen, Albert Watching the Doctor. Luft, Harold S. New York: Wfiey. Majones, Giandomenico Professionalism and Nonprofit Organizations. Modern Healthcare 15 June 7. Pauly, Mark Doctors and Their Workshops. Chicago, Ill. American Economic Review 63 March Relman, Arnold S. This volume.
Roe, Benson B. July 2 Schroeder, Steven A. Medical Care 12 August Shaw, Bernard The Doctor's Dilemma. New York: Brentano's. Siegrist, Richard B. Sloan, Frank A. Forthcoming Property Rights in the Hospital Industry.
Frech III, editor. Law and Contemporary Problems 35 Autumn Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly Tietelman, Robert Selective Surgery. Forbes April 22 Small Business Administration. Veatch, Robert M. The Public Interest 42 Winter Weisbrod, Burton A.
Williamson, Oliver E. Journal of Economic Literature 19 December Appendix to Chapter 1. Yoder This appendix considers, from a theoretical perspective, the rationale for the existence of private, for-profit; private, not-for-profit; and governmental production of goods and services.
Complex personal services such as health care are especially at issue: Often the complexity of these services, their nonstandard character, and the circumstances under which they are provided make it difficult for the consumer to determine whether the services are performed adequately. Hansmann, According to this theory, then, not-for-profit firms would be dominant in markets in which the quality of the product is difficult to monitor, because the preferences of consumers for the ostensible protection of the not-for-profit form would make it difficult or impossible for for-profit producers to remain in the market.
Models of the Behavior of For-Profit and Not-For-Profit Organizations Traditional economic theory treats the management structure and decision-making process as a black box. Why For-Profit Hospitals May be Inefficient This review of the theoretical literature comparing the behavior of not-for-profit with for-profit enterprises suggests that for-profit organization results in greater efficiency i.
References Baumol, W. New York: Harcourt, Brace, and World. Bays, Carson W. Journal of Policy Analysis and Man agement 2 3 Working Paper No. Program on Non-profit Organizations, Yale University. Journal of Economics and Business 24 2 The Bell Journal of Economics 14 2 The Yale Law Journal 89 5 Montias, editor; and J. Kornai, editor. Economic Systems. Southern Economic Journal 28 1 Musgrave, Richard A. Musgrave Public Finance in Theory and Practice. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Newhouse, Joseph P. American Economic Review 60 1 Okun, Arthur M. American Economic Review 63 1 Samuelson, Paul A. Lexington, Mass. Clarkson, editor; and Donald L. Martin, editor. The Economics of Nonproprietary Organiza tions. Greenwich, Conn. Journal of Economic Literature 19 December : Footnotes 1. In this Page. Related information. Recent Activity. Change Healthcare and Experian Health say this new product will offer a secure, scalable and HIPAA-compliant ID record-matching capability platform, helping enable financial, administrative and clinical improvements.
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