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Surveys, from an American perspective, the existing literature oneconomic explanations of the behaviour of universities and scholars. Themodern literature is put in…
Surveys, from an American perspective, the existing literature on economic explanations of the behaviour of universities and scholars. The modern literature is put in historical perspective introduced by a brief discussion of the positions of two of the earliest and most distinguished contributors to the literature: Adam Smith and Max Weber. Discusses the human capital and implicit contracts literatures of the behaviour of scholars, the latter elaborated in terms of the issue of tenure. The most common theoretical economic analysis of the university is the view that it is best thought of as a non‐profit organization. Discusses variants of this view, with special attention to the literature on rent‐seeking in academe. Goes on to the empirical literature on the economics of academe in the areas of academic institutions, academic earnings functions, the earnings and status of minority scholars and academic production functions. Briefly considers the relevance of the current literature to the Althoff system, suggesting that Althoff′s able, trusted advisers, and his system of institutes, may have allowed him to avoid several inefficiences that have been identified by economists as present in other academic institutions. Although the centralization of decision making in the hands of one decision maker may be efficient if the decision maker is exceptionally able, more commonly the most efficient system will be a decentralized system that allows for greater diversity and competition. Concludes with a discussion of how hypotheses on the efficiency (and fairness) of various aspects of the Althoff system could, in principle, be tested.
Since the 1960s, experts have predicted that we are on the verge of curing cancer. The purpose of this paper is to explore the obstacles to progress, and to propose…
Since the 1960s, experts have predicted that we are on the verge of curing cancer. The purpose of this paper is to explore the obstacles to progress, and to propose policies that will lead more quickly to more success.
To speed future cures, we need to look at the traits, and methods of those innovative medical entrepreneurs who achieved breakthroughs in the past, and learn what institutions and policies enabled, or blocked, their progress.
Breakthrough innovators tend to be less-credentialed outsiders who “see what others do not see,” often by nimble and persistent pursuit of serendipitous discoveries or slow hunches. For example, Freireich and DeVita were less-credentialed outsiders. Freireich cured childhood leukemia and DeVita cured Hodgkin’s lymphoma, by pursuing nimble trial-and-error experimentation in their anti-cancer chemotherapy cocktails. Min Chiu Li pursued his slow hunch that his patients would benefit from longer chemotherapy than the mandated National Cancer Institute protocol allowed. He was fired, but his patients were cured. Today, FDA-mandated regulatory protocols, often defended as applications of the precautionary principle, greatly restrict innovative medical entrepreneurs, thereby delaying cancer cures and costing lives.
The paper proposes a new approach to medical innovation, allowing cancer researchers to engage in trial-and-error experiments that follow up on serendipitous discoveries and plausible hunches. The result will be more cures and longer lives.
The previous major biographies of Schumpeter are found in the works by Allen (1991), März (1991), Stolper (1994), and Swedberg (1991). März's biography is a collection of independently written essays, some mainly biographical, and some mainly commenting on aspects of Schumpeter's economic thought. Stolper's signal contribution is to present evidence that explains and defends Schumpeter's activities in government and banking in Austria. Allen focuses extensively on the details of Schumpeter's personal life (see Moss, 1993), while Swedberg focuses more on the events and ideas of Schumpeter's academic life. McCraw also puts primary emphasis on Schumpeter's academic life, although he includes more information about Schumpeter's personal life than did März, Stolper, and Swedberg (often citing Allen's research as his source).
Entrepreneurs have two advantages over credentialed experts. They “know” less of what is false, and they (informally) know more of what is true. They know less of what is…
Entrepreneurs have two advantages over credentialed experts. They “know” less of what is false, and they (informally) know more of what is true. They know less of what is false because they are either ignorant of, or willing to ignore, the currently dominant theories. They know more of what is true by having more informal knowledge (whether local, tacit, or inchoate). Funding of projects by firms or governments will rely on expert judgments based on the currently dominant theory. So breakthrough innovations depend on innovative entrepreneurs being able to find funding independent of the insider incumbent institutions, usually self-funding.
This volume contains papers given at the third biennial Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies Conference on Austrian Economics. The conference was held…
This volume contains papers given at the third biennial Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies Conference on Austrian Economics. The conference was held at a beautiful waterfront facility of Simon Fraser University on October 15 and 16, 2010. In spite of all warnings to expect fog and rain in the Pacific Northwest, the weather was sunny and mild, as were the spirits of the conferees. Our topic title, “Austrian Views on Experts and Epistemic Monopolies,” was perhaps a bit misleading because some of the views represented were not “Austrian.” Indeed, the editorial mission of Advances in Austrian Economics has been to promote dialogue between the “Austrian” tradition of economics and other traditions both within in economics and beyond. Participants discussed the problem of experts from several Austrian and non-Austrian perspectives. While representing different points of view, the participants did tend toward the view that experts may pose a problem in one way or another, especially when they enjoy an epistemic monopoly.
In this paper, we aim to understand why consumers often prefer products made using traditional practices even when products made using new practices are not of lower…
In this paper, we aim to understand why consumers often prefer products made using traditional practices even when products made using new practices are not of lower quality. We argue that this resistance, which we call “production process conservatism,” is heightened when the product is used in the performance of a social ritual.
We develop this argument in the context of diamond jewelry, as consumers have generally been resistant to diamonds that are produced in laboratories, i.e., lab-created diamonds. Hypotheses were tested using experiments conducted with an online sample (Experiment 1) and with an MBA student sample (Experiment 2).
In Experiment 1, we find that married female respondents significantly prefer mined diamonds to lab-created diamonds when they are used as part of an engagement gift as opposed to a more routine gift. In Experiment 2, we find the same effect among women; in addition, the perceived risk associated with the ritual is found to mediate this production process conservatism.
This paper contributes to the understanding of a macrosocial phenomenon – acceptance of an innovation – by examining microinteractive processes in groups.
Originality/value of Paper
This paper develops an original theory that when individuals deviate from traditional aspects of rituals, they risk signaling a lack of commitment or cultural competence to the group even when such aspects are not explicitly stated.