Elements of Entrepreneurial Expertise
Chapter 10: Markets in Human Hope
The topic for this chapter is a puzzle that I have struggled with. The puzzle is this: why can’t we buy futures contracts in Rwandan prosperity? Or options in environmental conservation in Brazil? Or equity in the emancipation of Afghan women? If we want to participate in the upside potential of biotechnology, we can buy Genzyme stock or shares in a biotech mutual fund with a couple of clicks of the mouse. But if we want to participate in the upside potential of literacy in the Congo delta, or even youth development in South Central Los Angeles, we have to research obscure charities, mail out checks, maybe ﬁll out tax exemption forms, then cross our ﬁngers and hope that our money will be put to some good use. We have no way of analysing and selecting among competing models, monitoring investments, trading them for liquidity, or cashing in on positive results. Are there reasons for believing that investments in biotechnology can be proﬁtable but investments in the eradication of human misery cannot? In fact, the latter are not even categorized as investments but are deemed a matter for charity, something to be ﬁnanced through sacriﬁce without expectation of a positive return. The irrepressibly cornucopian economist Julian Simon spent his life arguing that human beings are the ultimate resource (Simon, J, 1981). His data run deep and long, and his analyses are compellingly careful and explicit. Yet it is easier to invest in the future of pork bellies than...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.