Zoltan Acs on “Why Philanthropy Matters”

…For wealth to invigorate the capitalist system it needs to be “kept in rotation” like the planets around the sun, and for this task American philanthropy is very well suited. Examining the dynamics of American-style capitalism since the eighteenth century, philanthropy achieves three critical outcomes. It deals with the question of what to do with wealth–keep it, tax it, or give it away. It complements government in creating public goods. And, by focusing on education, science, and medicine, philanthropy has a positive effect on economic growth and productivity. Individuals such as Benjamin Franklin, Andrew Carnegie, Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg and Oprah Winfrey have used their wealth to establish institutions and promote knowledge, and philanthropy has given an edge to American-style capitalism by promoting vital forces–like university research–necessary for technological innovation, economic equality, and economic security.

Philanthropy is therefore an invisible, underappreciated force for progress in American-style capitalism–the secret ingredient that fails to get mentioned in economic accounts of capitalism…

Source: “Why Philanthropy Matters” at History News Network


Zoltan Acs has a great article on the themes of his forthcoming book Why Philanthropy Matters over at History News Network.


Why Philanthropy Matters
How the Wealthy Give, and What It Means for Our Economic Well-Being
Zoltan J. Acs


Stanford finance prof Anat Admati discusses her new book, with Martin Hellwig, THE BANKERS’ NEW CLOTHES

Stanford finance and economics professor Anat Admati discusses her new book, with Martin Hellwig, THE BANKERS’ NEW CLOTHES: What’s Wrong with Banking and What to Do about It, out in March, with the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Follow Professor Admati on her popular Twitter feed @anatadmati

Brink Lindsey discusses his new eBook HUMAN CAPITALISM with Glenn Loury on Bloggingheads

PUP’s first eBook-original HUMAN CAPITALISM: How Economic Growth Has Made Us Smarter–and More Unequal, by Brink Lindsey

In Princeton University Press’s first EBook original, Brink Lindsey demands an investment in “human capital” to stop the growing divide between the haves and have-nots

What explains the growing divide between the wealthy and everybody else? Politicians, pundits, scholars, journalists, economists and many others have tried to solve this critical question that would create a more equal society. In Princeton University Press’s first Ebook original HUMAN CAPITALISM: How Economic Growth Has Made Us Smarter—and More Unequal (Publication Date: August 8, 2012; Ebook $4.99), author and Kauffman Foundation scholar Brink Lindsey argues that the gap between elites and the rest of us can best be explained by the ever-growing complexity of modern economies and the barriers to the acquisition of the skills—“Human Capital”— necessary to not only survive but thrive in a new economic landscape.

The complexity of today’s economy is not only making these elites richer—it is also making them smarter. As the economy makes ever-greater demands on their minds, the successful are making ever-greater investments in education and other ways of increasing their children’s human capital, expanding their cognitive skills and leading them to still higher levels of success. But unfortunately, even as the rich are securely riding this virtuous cycle, the poor are trapped in a vicious one, as a pattern of family breakdown, unemployment, and dysfunction, leads to a further erosion of knowledge and skills.

Lindsey shows how high skill level jobs are rewarded, while mid-level jobs are outsourced, further widening the gap. Simply retraining workers or teaching skills isn’t working because it’s not removing the cultural divisions and polarization that permeates the economy; those cultural factors are impeding the success of targeted programs that he espouses. Fueling the
polarization is the resentment of those on the lower end who don’t want to hear that the world has changed and that they need better jobs.

Lindsey’s solutions? To redeem the promise of human capitalism, it is necessary to restore the connection between rising complexity and rising human capital cross the socioeconomic spectrum.
o Maintain growth through policies that encourage entrepreneurship and innovation.
o Reform K-12 education by unleashing competition.
o Step up experiments with early childhood interventions that can compensate for disadvantaged environments.
o Combat social exclusion of low-skilled adults through low-wage job subsidies, changes in disability insurance, and penal reform to reduce mass incarceration.
o Improve higher education by limiting tuition subsidies.
o Reform land use regulation and occupational licensing to facilitate upward mobility.

In this brief, clear, and forthright eBook original, Lindsey shows how economic growth is creating unprecedented levels of human capital—and suggests how the huge benefits of this development can be spread beyond those who are already enjoying its rewards.

Coming in Spring 2013, Princeton University Press will also be publishing an expanded hardcover edition of the book.

‘Blind Spots’ author Max Bazerman discusses the Sandusky trial on WNYC’s The Takeaway

Max Bazerman, co-author of Blind Spots: Why We Fail to Do What’s Right and What to Do about It (along with Ann Tenbrunsel) appeared on WNYC’s The Takeaway to discuss the trial of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. You can listen to the interview below.

Robert Shiller in the UK


Robert Shiller was in the UK during the first week of May to promote his latest book ‘Finance and the Good Society’.  His appearances ranged from an interview on CNBC Europe Squawk Box to videos for The Guardian and Economia as well as lectures at the Royal Society of Arts and the London School of Economics.

Please follow the links to catch up with any of these appearances.

UCLA’s Michael Ross discusses THE OIL CURSE on MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan show

Check out Michael Ross discusses THE OIL CURSE on yesterday’s edition of MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan Show.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

David Vogel discusses regulating health, safety, and environmental risks in Europe and the United States

David Vogel, whose book The Politics of Precaution: Regulating Health, Safety, and Environmental Risks in Europe and the United States was published this Spring, will be in the UK on 10 May and will be speaking at the Said Business School, Oxford at 11.30am, and the London School of Economics at 6.30pm.

Please follow links to sign up for either of these events or contact Julia Hall jhall@pupress.co.uk for more information.


Check out Robert Shiller on CNBC’s Squawk Box earlier this week

With the kickoff of Robert Shiller’s book tour this week, on Monday he appeared on the influential business talk show Squawk Box on CNBC to discuss FINANCE AND THE GOOD SOCIETY. It’s a very informative and entertaining interview so take a look!

Robert Shiller talking about FINANCE AND THE GOOD SOCIETY on TheStreet.com

Robert Shiller is doing the media rounds this week for his new book FINANCE AND THE GOOD SOCIETY. He chatted the other day with Gregg Greenberg at TheStreet.com about the book, the housing bubble, and Goldman Sachs. Check it out!

Excerpt series of Robert Shiller’s FINANCE AND THE GOOD SOCIETY this week on Bloomberg View

A series of excerpts from FINANCE AND THE GOOD SOCIETY, the new book from economist and New York Times Economic Scene columnist Robert J. Shiller, is running this week on Bloomberg View.  Yesterday’s piece, “Walt Whitman, First Artist of Finance,” is already generating quite a discussion and today’s “Finance Isn’t as Amoral as It Seems,” already is sure to continue .  Stay tuned thoughout the week for more slices from the book.

Walt Whitman, First Artist of Finance
One of the myths surrounding economic inequality in our society is that high incomes are often the result of selfishness and narrow-mindedness, rather than idealism and humanity. We tend to think that those in careers other than our own are fundamentally different kinds of people.

Personality and character differences are, indeed, somewhat associated with occupation. But we tend to attribute the behavior of others to personality differences far more often than is warranted.

We tend to think of philosophers, artists or poets as the polar opposite of chief executive officers, bankers or businesspeople. But the idea that those involved in business have personalities fundamentally different from those in other walks of life is belied by the fact that many often combine or switch careers. Consider a few examples.

Walt Whitman is one of our most revered poets, and his poetry is among the most transcendent. But he could not ignore more material concerns; he had to make a living. To do so, he turned to fiction — more marketable than poetry — and made his name with a commercial novel called “Franklin Evans, or The Inebriate: A Tale of the Times”….

Ruth Grant and STRINGS ATTACHED reviewed in NY Times Sunday Business

Check out a terrific review of Ruth Grant’s new book STRINGS ATTACHED: Untangling the Ethics of Incentives in yesterday’s Sunday Business section of the New York Times.  

WHAT does it mean to treat human behavior as if everyone has a price? That’s the broad question animating “Strings Attached: Untangling the Ethics of Incentives”, by Ruth W. Grant….