The Scarring Effect of the 2008 Economic Crisis: Growth and Growth Decline in Austria’s Nonprofit Social Services Sector

Astrid Pennerstorfer, Stephanie Reitzinger, Ulrike Schneider

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review

27 Downloads (Pure)


Since the 2008 economic crisis, social service providers worldwide have reported funding cuts, while the need for some social services has been increasing. This paper examines the combined and longer-term effects of such divergent developments on the nonprofit social services sector. The empirical analysis uses Austrian administrative data on six subfields of the sector covering the years 2003–2017. We investigate significant changes in the trends of four growth indicators applying interrupted time series analysis. We find that the 2008 economic crisis is associated with persistently lower growth rates in Austria’s nonprofit social services sector. The magnitude of this dampening effect differs across subsectors. Additionally, our findings suggest an increase in market concentration. Hence, the study discloses a long-term scarring effect of the economic crisis on Austria’s social services sector, raising doubts on the sector’s future resilience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1173 - 1187
JournalVoluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 502023 NPO research
  • 509012 Social policy

Cite this