TILEC Workshop on “Economic Governance and Organizations”
| Peter Klein |
The Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC) is organizing a very interesting workshop on ” Economic Governance and Organizations,” 6-7 June 2013 in Tilburg. The core themes revolve around governance mechanisms — legal, contractual, social, etc. — that can address social dilemmas (free riding). Keynote speakers are Luis Garicano, Henry Smith, Henry Hansmann, and Guido Tabellini. See the full details here. Sample questions of interest:
- What makes organizations that combine classical incentives with some kind of pro-social mission, e.g. religious organizations or charities, more or less suitable to solve economic governance problems?
- Can firms whose owners are mainly driven by profit incentives mitigate economic governance problems equally good as nonprofit organizations?
- What are the effects on “industry structure” and performance of allowing for-profits to enter into traditional not-for-profit sectors? Are there important differences between sectors?
- There has been a recent trend to run charities as tightly controlled and efficiency-oriented as business firms (e.g. the Gates Foundation). What are the effects of this development on the effectiveness of those organizations (measured by the number of poor people helped, etc.)? What is the risk of crowding out charity workers’ intrinsic motivation by control?
- (How) can organizations help to support political movements in the internet age, where decentralized social online networks seem omnipotent to coordinate citizens’ actions?
- Is there a need to foster new organizational forms, such as “societal enterprises” next to traditional firms and not-for-profit organizations? If so, in which sectors, and what forms?
- Is the decline of formal private organizations providing social capital, such as clubs or many other nonprofits, an inevitable consequence of technological advancements that enable individuals to do many things on their own that required big organizations in earlier times on their own today? If so, is this a problem?
- What is the (a) de facto (b) optimal role of the state in allowing or promoting different types of organizations in order to mitigate economic governance problems? (How) does it differ between countries?
- Is it true that the state has crowded out many private initiatives to support collective action, e.g. in the provision of local public goods such as water and sewage, but less so in contract enforcement? If so, which types of organizations are best suited to mitigate this or that economic governance problem? Why?
- It seems that the number of old for-profit firms is very limited. In contrast, there are quite some religious (nonprofit) organizations which mitigate economic governance problems and are hundreds or even thousands of years old (e.g. Churches, monasteries or religiously affiliated hospitals/nursing homes). Is this impression true? If so, why? What can we learn from the longevity of many religious organizations for the organizational design of other nonprofit organizations?