In Medio Stat Virtus: Does a Mixed Economy Increase Welfare?
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Over the past few decades, social enterprises have grown remarkably. This paper investigates how social enterprises affect access to social services (e.g., education and health-care) and utilitarian welfare. To this end, two economic systems are compared: a market economy system, where all firms are profit maximizers, and a mixed economy system, where both for-profit businesses and social enterprises are present. Findings show that individuals are more likely to have access to social services within mixed economy. Moreover, conditions are derived under which utilitarian welfare is larger within mixed economy. Public policies in support of social enterprises (e.g., subsidies) are shown to result in the following trade-off: access to social services is further enhanced but utilitarian welfare is more likely to be lower than that within market economy.