Today I hauled myself out to the main campus of George Mason (in Fairfax Virginia). What got me to battle the beltway? My friend and colleague Sameeksha Desai was defending her dissertation.
She is a serious and innovative researcher who I have blogged about in the the past. Her work covers post conflict entrepreneurship (think Rwanda, etc) and begins to define/explore a concept called ‘destructive entrepreneurship.’
This term appears to come from Baumol’s 1990 work, Good Entrepreneurship, Bad Entrepreneurship, and Destructive Entrepreneurship. While Baumol didn’t delve to deeply into the destructive, Samee has!
Destructive entrepreneurship is anything that destroys economic capacity; whether it be land, labor, or capital.
So, for example, in an unstable post-conflict environment entrepreneurs will make decisions that are often short-term in nature (b/c the future is very unclear) but cost the economy greatly in the long run. The policy implications of this were discussed in Samee’s work.
While her work focuses on post-conflict entrepreneurship, the destructive nature of much of it is similar to what we see in many urban cores in the US. This idea was discussed extensively after Samee’s presentation and its clear that her work can shed a lot of light on traditional urban issues.
Her work is fascinating and I am trying to find some things to post.