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The Entrepreneurship-Philanthropy Nexus: Nonmarket Source of American Entrepreneurial Capitalism

  • Zoltan J. Acs

    ()

  • David Audretsch

    ()

  • Ronnie J. Phillips
  • Sameeksha Desai

    ()

What differentiates American capitalism from all other forms of industrial capitalism is a historical focus on both the creation of wealth (entrepreneurship) and the reconstitution of wealth (philanthropy). Philanthropy has been part of the implicit American social contract that continuously nurtures and revitalizes economic prosperity. Much of the new wealth created historically has been given back to the community to build many of the great social institutions that have paved the way for future economic growth. This entrepreneurship-philanthropy nexus has not been fully explored by either economists or the general public. The purpose of this paper is to suggest that American philanthropists—particularly those who have made their own fortunes—create foundations that, in turn, contribute to greater and more widespread economic prosperity through knowledge creation. Analyzing philanthropy sheds light on our current understanding of how economic development has occurred, as well as the roots of American economic dominance.

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Paper provided by Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group in its series Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy with number 2007-09.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esi:egpdis:2007-09
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  1. Henrekson, Magnus & Jakobsson, Ulf, 2000. "Where Schumpeter was nearly Right - the Swedish Model and Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 370, Stockholm School of Economics.
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  8. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-93, Nov.-Dec..
  9. Thomas Ireland, 1969. "The calculus of philanthropy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 23-31, September.
  10. Frank G. Dickinson, 1970. "The Changing Position of Philanthropy in the American Economy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number dick70-1, October.
  11. Wennekers, Sander & Thurik, Roy, 1999. " Linking Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 27-55, August.
  12. Albert Danielsen, 1975. "A theory of exchange, philanthropy and appropriation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 13-26, December.
  13. Sugden, Robert, 1982. "On the Economics of Philanthropy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(366), pages 341-50, June.
  14. Catherine Armington & Zoltan Acs, 2002. "The Determinants of Regional Variation in New Firm Formation," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(1), pages 33-45.
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