Rafael Chaves is Professor of Economic Policy and Social Economy at the University of Valencia and leader of the Spanish TSI team. He obtained a European Doctorate Laureate in Economics in 1995 and was Director of the Research Institute IUDESCOOP for ten years until he took on the position of Director of the Official Doctorate Program on Social Economics at the same university. He is President of the Scientific Commission on Social and Cooperative Economics of CIRIEC-international. His research has focused on public policies towards the third sector, major figures in the field of social economy, and definitions and theories on the third sector and social economy.
He has published in journals such as The Service Industries Journal, Service Business, Management Decision, Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, CIRIEC-España revista de economia publica social y cooperativa, Economía Industrial, International journal of rural development, Revista de estudios cooperativos, Nouvelles pratiques sociales, Journal of Cooperative Studies and books in editorials as De Boeck and Peterlang.
He has extensive experience in leading international and national projects, financed by European Institutions as the European Economic and Social Committee or the DGV of the European Union, the scientific network CIRIEC-International and the Spanish Ministry of Science.

Relevant Publications

  • Monzon, J.L. y Chaves,R. (2008): The European Social Economy: Concept and dimensions of the Third Sector. In: Annals of Public And Cooperative Economics, Vol. 79-3/4: 549-577.

This article focuses on recurrent, but needed to clarification, topics as the question of definitions, the national recognition of the concept of Social Economy and the dimensions of this European third sector. It begins with a proposition of a conceptual delimitation of the Social Economy and of the different classes of company and organisation that belong to it. Secondly it identifies the different agents which, irrespective of their legal form, form part of the Social Economy in each of the member states of the European Union and to compare the different national definitions that are related to the Social Economy concept. Finally, it provides quantitative data of the European Social Economy.

  • Monzon,J.L. & Chaves,R. (2012): The social economy in the European Union. European Social and Economic Committee, Bruxelles.

This study, carried for the EU and translated into all the languages of the EU, had as main purpose to build the statistic and conceptual panorama of the European Third Sector, named Social Economy. It was the actualization of the other study carried in 2008.

  • Chaves, R. & Monzón,J.L. (2012): Beyond the crisis: the social economy, prop of a new model of sustainable economic development. In: Service Business. An international journal, vol 6:1.

This article analyzes the social economy (SE) as a third major sector between the public economy and the capitalist private economy. It examines the SE concept, compares it with the nonprofit sector and analyzes its microeconomic foundations, functions in the economic system and implications for economic policy. The field of economic analysis needs to be broadened, abandoning the mainstream monism that emphasizes the study of capitalist private enterprises and taking a plural view of the economy. In this approach, other forms of business organization, particularly SE enterprises, become a priority for analysis, opening up new scientific, social and economic vistas.

  • Chaves,R., Fecher,F. & Monzón,J.L. (2012): Recent issues in social economy research. Special issue. In: Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, 2012 (vol 83:3)

This is a special issue of this scientific journal specialized on public and social economy. The aim of the article was to analyse the recent evolution of the research field of the social economy, its major objects of study and the institutionalization of the this field of research.

  • Chaves,R. & Demoustier,D. (eds) (2013): The emergence of social economy in public policies. An international perspective. Peter Lang Publishers.

This book presents the product of the international working group auspicated by CIRIEC-International and focused on the public policies carried at international level that promote the third sector / social economy.


The Social Economy in the European Union (2011-12)
Commissioned by the CIRIEC-International by the European Economic and Social Committee.
Role: Co-director

Assessment of the public policy fostering social economy in Spain (2011)
Co-directed with Professor Inmaculada Serra, commissioned by the Spanish Government – Ministry of Labour.
Role: Director

The social economy in public policies. The economic policy perspective (2010-12)
Commissioned by the Spanish Government – Ministry of Research.
Role: Co-director

Social economy in the field of cooperation and development. An international perspective (2011)
Co-directed with Prof. Jose M. Pérez de Uralde, contracted by the Carolina Foundation.