Institute for an Entrepreneurial Society (IES) Update

Professor Maria Minitti and IES faculty and students.


This has been an exciting year at the Institute for an Entrepreneurial Society (IES).

Among many other events and activities, IES Ph.D. student Devin Stein has accepted a tenure-track position at the University of Alabama, and IES Research Fellow David Lucas was named the Edward Pettinella Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at Whitman.


In March, IES hosted Dr. Adam Frost, from the Copenhagen Business School, and Dr. Shuang Lu, from Aarhus University in Denmark.  Frost presented his work on Chinese informal markets. This paper, coauthored with Zeren Li, and entitled “Markets under Mao: Measuring Underground Activity in the Early PRC,” is now published in the China Quarterly. The paper shows that, contrary to what is commonly believed, Chinese citizens continued to engage in entrepreneurial transactions throughout the Maoist era, and that informal entrepreneurship constituted a substantial proportion of local economic activity. 


Also, the Templeton World Charity Foundation awarded IES scholars Roger Koppl and Maria Minniti a grant to study scientific advisory bodies such as the White House Covid-19 Advisory Board. The grant has enabled them to hire Dr. Kira Pronin to work on the project as a postdoctoral IES research fellow. Dr. Pronin comes to the IES from the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned a Ph.D. in political science. The project aims to develop a set of organizational and governance principles for scientific advisory bodies. The governance principles and organizational mechanisms identified will foster and preserve the well-being of citizens by improving the advice of scientific advisory bodies. The project’s research team is building a comparative-institutional database covering the US, the UK, Uganda, Poland, Sweden, and Italy. The team’s leading hypothesis is that broad governance of official scientific advisory bodies tends to prevent tunnel vision and narrow focus.


Finally, Minniti received a grant from the E.M. Kauffman Foundation to run workshops on property rights and the role of stakeholders in firms’ decision-making. These issues are particularly salient for entrepreneurs, who often create value via new approaches to ownership. The workshops will be developmental and will bring together prominent scholars with junior faculty members and Ph.D. students from several developed and developing countries. The goal of the workshops is to nurture a diverse group of young researchers interested in the political economy of entrepreneurship.


IES fellows look forward to another exciting and productive year. Onward and upward! 


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