Why Philanthropy Matters: How the Wealthy Give, and What It Means for Our Economic Well-Being

Princeton University Press
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Philanthropy has long been a distinctive feature of American culture, but its crucial role in the economic well-being of the nation--and the world--has remained largely unexplored. Why Philanthropy Matters takes an in-depth look at philanthropy as an underappreciated force in capitalism, measures its critical influence on the free-market system, and demonstrates how American philanthropy could serve as a model for the productive reinvestment of wealth in other countries. Factoring in philanthropic cycles that help balance the economy, Zoltan Acs offers a richer picture of capitalism, and a more accurate backdrop for considering policies that would promote the capitalist system for the good of all.

Examining the dynamics of American-style capitalism since the eighteenth century, Acs argues that 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. Acs describes how individuals such as Benjamin Franklin, Andrew Carnegie, Bill Gates, and Oprah Winfrey have used their wealth to establish institutions and promote knowledge, and Acs shows how philanthropy has given an edge to capitalism by promoting vital forces--like university research--necessary for technological innovation, economic equality, and economic security. Philanthropy also serves as a guide for countries with less flexible capitalist institutions, and Acs makes the case for a larger, global philanthropic culture.

Providing a new perspective on the development of capitalism, Why Philanthropy Matters highlights philanthropy's critical links to the economic progress, health, and future of the United States--and beyond.

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About the author

Zoltan J. Acs is University Professor and director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Public Policy in the School of Public Policy at George Mason University. He is the coauthor of Entrepreneurship, Geography, and American Economic Growth.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Feb 21, 2013
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9781400846818
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Economics / General
Business & Economics / Education
Education / Higher
Political Science / History & Theory
Political Science / Public Policy / Economic Policy
Social Science / Philanthropy & Charity
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Zoltan J. Acs
Zoltan J. Acs
This brief presents a detailed look at the entrepreneurial ecosystem of nations around the wold by combining individual data with institutional components. Presenting data from the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (GEDI), which measures the quality and scale of entrepreneurial process from 137 countries world-wide, this book provides a rich understanding of entrepreneurship and a more precise means to measure it. In addition to yearly data and comparison, this 2017 edition also explores the digital entrepreneurial ecosystem and provides a detailed analysis of two measurements of entrepreneurship: the GEDI and the Total Early-Stage Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) measure.

Whereas developed countries will be challenged to increase their economic productivity to sustain current standards of living as their populations rapidly age, developing economies will need to integrate more than two billion young adults into the world economy by 2050. How can more than one billion jobs be created in the developing world within this timeframe, especially in the least developed countries, where poverty and massive unemployment are already dominant facts of economic life? How can we measure, monitor, and build the ecosystems to produce such growth? The GEDI is designed to profile national systems of entrepreneurship. It links institutions and agents through a National Entrepreneurial System (ecosystem) in which each biotic and abiotic component is reinforced by the other at the country level. The resulting data gives policymakers a tool for understanding the entrepreneurial strengths and weaknesses of their countries’ economies, thereby enabling them to implement policies that foster productive entrepreneurship. The GEDI also helps governments harness the power of entrepreneurship to add these types of challenges.

Zoltan J. Acs
This brief presents a detailed look at the entrepreneurial ecosystem of nations around the wold by combining individual data with institutional components. Presenting data from the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (GEDI), which measures the quality and scale of entrepreneurial process from 137 countries world-wide, this book provides a rich understanding of entrepreneurship and a more precise means to measure it. In addition to yearly data and comparison, this 2017 edition also explores the digital entrepreneurial ecosystem and provides a detailed analysis of two measurements of entrepreneurship: the GEDI and the Total Early-Stage Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) measure.

Whereas developed countries will be challenged to increase their economic productivity to sustain current standards of living as their populations rapidly age, developing economies will need to integrate more than two billion young adults into the world economy by 2050. How can more than one billion jobs be created in the developing world within this timeframe, especially in the least developed countries, where poverty and massive unemployment are already dominant facts of economic life? How can we measure, monitor, and build the ecosystems to produce such growth? The GEDI is designed to profile national systems of entrepreneurship. It links institutions and agents through a National Entrepreneurial System (ecosystem) in which each biotic and abiotic component is reinforced by the other at the country level. The resulting data gives policymakers a tool for understanding the entrepreneurial strengths and weaknesses of their countries’ economies, thereby enabling them to implement policies that foster productive entrepreneurship. The GEDI also helps governments harness the power of entrepreneurship to add these types of challenges.

Zoltan J. Acs
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