This study confronts the following questions: what are the conditions under which a society decides to do things in the public and voluntary nonprofit sectors, and in what ways do organizations behave differently, depending on whether they are in the public or the voluntary nonprofit sector? To address these questions, the study focuses on English and Welsh hospitals during the twentieth century but prior to the National Health Service. The study argues that as long as the sources of funding for public and voluntary organizations diverge, their behavior will diverge. Because English and Welsh voluntary hospitals prior to the National Health Service were heavily dependent on the voluntary sector for funding and the public hospitals were primarily dependent on the public sector for their funding, the data set is especially valuable for observing how divergent sources of funding influence the behavior of organizations.

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