Registration for the CEPR workshops now open

The joint workshops on the Economics of Entrepreneurship and Incentives, Management and Organisation will take place from the 7th to the 9th of September 2017.

The joint workshop on the morning of Friday 8th September will include keynote speeches by:
Edward Lazear (Stanford Graduate School of Business)
Luigi Zingales (University of Chicago, Booth School of Business and CEPR)

We hope that many researchers will be able to join both parts of the event, which will be hosted by University of Copenhagen and Copenhagen Business School. The schedule of the workshops will be as follows:
Thursday 7th September – Incentives, Management and Organisation Workshop
Friday 8th September AM – Joint workshop on Entrepreneurship and Organisation
Friday 8th September PM and Saturday 9th September AM – Entrepreneurship Workshop

Registration is free. Find out more:


Call for PhD applicants

Department of Innovation and Organizational Economics has announced a call for PhD applicants within all research areas of the department. Please see the call text here.

Post doc in Entrepreneurship (Economics)

A post doc position has been announced at the Department of Innovation and Organizational Economics sponsored by the Mærsk chair.

Please see the call at the CBS website.

Vera Rocha IZA Research Affiliate

Vera Rocha has accepted a 2 year appointment as Research Affiliate at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

IZA, established in 1998, is a non-profit research center in labor economics supported by the Deutsche Post Foundation.

IZA is now widely recognized as a leading institute for labor market research. This success is based on a dynamic local team in Bonn, Germany, as well as the world’s largest network of labor economists who cooperate with us as research fellows and affiliates. IZA also maintains close ties with the renowned economics faculty at the University of Bonn as with many other universities and policy-oriented research centers around the world.

The affiliation will give Vera the opportunity to join the many research activities of the Institute.

Blog post on Social Entrepreneurship

Under the heading Social Entrepreneurship Mirjam van Praag gives her view on the contribution of Social Entrepreneurship to the mainstream Entrepreneurship area. It is becoming more and more common to see new ventures that challenge the traditional ways of markets and profit, and who wants to help the solve the societal challenges of our time.

People have always had strong, but shifting, opinions about entrepreneurs and their role in our economy and society. The shift I now see developing is an interesting one to follow. It has to do with social entrepreneurship.

For centuries, entrepreneurs were held in low esteem. No wonder: general opinion was based on Aristoteles’ notion of society´s economy as a ‘zero sum game’. Value creation went unrecognised. One person´s profit was necessarily another person´s loss. Making a profit, which is part and parcel of entrepreneurship, was regarded as theft. This image changed around 1800 when J.B. Say explicitly rejected the rather silly notion of a zero-sum economy. Since then, the contribution of entrepreneurs to both positive and negative value creation has grown.

But what is value creation? What boosts welfare? Again, this changes over time. Today´s citizens and consumers have different priorities to past and future generations. We are fortunate that our most basic needs are met. What has become important is self-realisation and the creation of a sustained and pleasant living environment. Job opportunities for people with a disability, banning harsh labour from the production chain of chocolate or coffee for instance, or reducing energy consumption by using new light sources or cars are typical examples of today´s unfulfilled needs, as are clean air, or creating a fulfilling life as we age. And the list goes on. Negative and positive external effects of production and consumption have become more important in the valuation of products and services of entrepreneurs.

Changes in demand require changes in supply. Moreover, the need to contribute to a better society reflects not only consumption preferences, but the preferences of entrepreneurs also. More and more entrepreneurs demonstrate a strong intrinsic motivation to incorporate into their business targets value creation and destruction associated with externalities. Many of today´s and tomorrow´s entrepreneurs will offer new goods and services. They may offer their entrepreneurial skills to support the government in managing its sheer unmanageable care responsibilities, which has our collective preference. They may halt production to promote an economy with room for swapping and sharing. They may offer alternatives to meat to help reduce animal misery and the burden on the global food chain.

These are the ‘social entrepreneurs’. Social entrepreneurs are a growing group of entrepreneurs who regard solving a social problem as their first priority. Social enterprises fit seamlessly into the trend of increasing awareness among entrepreneurs and their effect on society. We see this reflected in corporate social responsibility and the emergence of the circular economy, for instance. But views on the matter vary, and it may very well have to do with the name; after all, if social entrepreneurship exists, does asocial entrepreneurship also have a place in society? The believers say that social entrepreneurs will save the Netherlands. But sceptics claim that social enterprises are no different from other enterprises and that we shouldn’t pay them too much attention. It´s difficult to categorise social enterprises. The term does not cover all organisations that solve social problems. And because they are not a distinct group, it is difficult to collect data on what exactly social entrepreneurs contribute. Then again, perhaps categorising them isn’t so important.

Are social entrepreneurs the vanguard of a new movement in entrepreneurship that takes on a different role in society, namely solving tough social issues? For one, it’s a movement that is greatly valued, also by other entrepreneurs. Thousands of visitors to this year´s Week of the Entrepreneur event in the Netherlands were asked to name the best Dutch entrepreneur. The award of “Best Entrepreneur” went to Jaap Korteweg of Vegetarische Slager (vegetarian butcher). This entrepreneur wants to change the food chain by making meat redundant. Another entrepreneur in the top ten, selected by a cross-section of thousands of entrepreneurs, was a platform for lending and borrowing goods. Entrepreneurs who make money solving tough social problems are also appreciated by other entrepreneurs. Do social entrepreneurs form the vanguard of a movement of new large-scale entrepreneurship? I hope so. I, for one, will be following them.