What is the Business of Business?

Innovation Policy and the Economy, volume 18, edited by Josh Lerner and Scott Stern

Duke I&E Research Paper No. 2017-12

38 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2017

See all articles by Andreas Nilsson

Andreas Nilsson

Independent

David T. Robinson

Fuqua School of Business, Duke University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative

Date Written: June 13, 2017

Abstract

This paper develops a simple framework for understanding the emergence of new organizational forms, such as socially responsible firms and social entrepreneurs, that embody the private sector's efforts to resolve problems that typically have been within the purview of government and traditional public charities. We consider organizations that can generate both financial and social returns. Differences in the technologies between the for-profit sector and the social sector give rise to comparative advantages and play a key part in the analysis. This allows us to analyze the conditions under which hybrid organizations emerge in place of traditional charities and profit-maximizers.

Suggested Citation

Nilsson, Andreas and Robinson, David T., What is the Business of Business? (June 13, 2017). Innovation Policy and the Economy, volume 18, edited by Josh Lerner and Scott Stern, Duke I&E Research Paper No. 2017-12, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2985301 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2985301

Andreas Nilsson

Independent ( email )

David T. Robinson (Contact Author)

Fuqua School of Business, Duke University ( email )

100 Fuqua Drive
Durham, NC 27708-0120
United States
919-660-8023 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative ( email )

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Durham, NC 27701
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