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Jonathan Garton

This chapter asks whether there is anything special about not-for-profit regulation as opposed to regulation generally, regulation of the third sector (of which the not-for-profit sector is a part), or regulation of the charity sector (which is a sub-set of the not-for-profit sector). The chapter argues that if not-for-profit regulation is to be distinguished from regulation generally, it must be because of its special interest in policing compliance with the non-distribution constraint, not because of any interest it has in minimizing harmful externalities. It also argues that the regulation of some third sector organizations, such as co-operatives, properly differs from the regulation of not-for-profits because of the distinctive market failures associated with those organizations. Finally, the chapter argues that charities should not be singled out for special regulatory treatment because, from the economic perspective that should underpin sound regulation, they are not substantively different from other not-for-profits; the fact that they are legally distinct is neither here nor there.