USC Price School of Public Policy

James M. Ferris


Emery Evans Olson Chair in Non-Profit Entrepreneurship and Public Policy
Director, Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy

Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall 210
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0626

Phone: (213) 740-0388

Fax: (213) 740-0001

Ph.D. in Economics

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Philanthropy, nonprofit economics, public finance, public policy, institutional analysis

Biographical sketch

James Ferris, Ph.D., specializes in the economics of the public and nonprofit sectors, public finance, and public policy. His research focuses on the shifting roles of the public, nonprofit, and for-profit sectors in governance and the economy. Professor Ferris is currently investigating the changing landscape of philanthropy, social capital and philanthropy, the role of philanthropic foundations in public policymaking, the causes and consequences of the conversion of nonprofit health care organizations to for-profit status, and intersectoral alliances for urban problem solving. His previous research examines public service delivery, focusing on the contracting decisions of local governments, the use of volunteers, and strategies to improve public sector performance through competition, decentralization, and privatization. He serves as a member of the editorial board of the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, the Grants Advisory Committee of the Aspen Institute’s Nonprofit Sector and Philanthropy Research Fund, the academic council of the National Center on Nonprofit Enterprise, and as a vice president of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Association. He previously served as associate editor of the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. Professor Ferris has been a visiting scholar at the Workshop on Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University, the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy, and the Department of Economics at Erasmus University, the Netherlands. He has also been a visiting fellow and Senior Fulbright Scholar at the Australian National University. He has served as a consultant to a variety of governmental agencies and international organizations, including the World Bank.


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