“Bankruptcy Law, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Performance”
David M. Primo, Associate Professor of Political Science and William Scott Green, Professor Emeritus of Religion; Philip S. Bernstein Professor Emeritus of Judaic Studies; Dean Emeritus of the College
It is often argued that allowing individuals easy access to bankruptcy encourages risk-taking in business start-ups, leading to positive economic benefits. Using state-level data, we explore the link between bankruptcy laws and entrepreneurship, and we then examine the impact of entrepreneurship on economic performance. We find that more generous bankruptcy laws lead to increased levels of self-employment in some cases. However, counter to the conventional wisdom, more generous laws are linked to lower levels of "innovative" entrepreneurship. We use these results to offer suggestions about the sorts of policies that will encourage economic growth in the state.
“Risk, Improvisation, and Entrepreneurship in Unstable Environments”
Daniel Reichman, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Director of Undergraduate Studies
This study analyzed the entrepreneurial practices of Honduran immigrants to the United States, focusing on how members of this group conceptualize and manage risk. We have examined how and why migrant entrepreneurs who have returned to Honduras have succeeded at disproportionately high rates. This study has helped fill a gap in the study of entrepreneurship by investigating the creation of enterprises that generate value in a highly unstable political, social, and economic environment. Rather than viewing extreme instability as a hindrance to entrepreneurship, we propose to view successful Honduran entrepreneurs as models of resourcefulness and improvisation.
“Environmental Entrepreneurship: How Environmental NGOs Adapt to Sustain Themselves”
Lawrence S. Rothenberg, Corrigan-Minehan Professor of Political Science
Among our nation’s great entrepreneurs are the creators and leaders of environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These individuals have been at the vanguard of the environmental movement that plays an increasingly important societal role, as we move to a period where issues such as global warming, sustainability, and green living become more and more central to our lives. Environmental entrepreneurs face an unusual market—increasingly they have come to rely on foundation, rather than member, support, to keep their organizations afloat. My research entails a model and database that will allow us to understand how NGOs and foundations match. The goal of my research is to be able to infer whether environmental entrepreneurs must change their NGOs’ focus to receive the funding that is their lifeblood.