*Why Philanthropy Matters*

by on February 20, 2013 at 4:56 pm in Books, Economics | Permalink

The author is Zoltan J. Acs and the subtitle is Why Philanthropy Matters: How the Wealthy Give, and What It Means for Our Economic Well-Being.  It is the best pro-philanthropy book I know.

By the way, Zoltan will be presenting at a forthcoming GMU conference on competitiveness, check out the other papers too.

Ray Lopez February 20, 2013 at 6:16 pm

Just skimmed Prof. Acs’ book w/ C. Armington “Entrepreneurship, Geography,and American Economic Growth” (2006), and it covers the 1990s. Good news: it mentions “patents” several times. That would be a minimum, sometimes not met in books on growth (kind of like setting up your chessboard with the dark square in the lower right hand corner–bad, bad). Bad news: small towns I’ve barely heard of had more “new firm formations” in the mid 1990s than San Jose, CA and the west coast big towns I am familiar with. Miami, FL was #6 out of something like 800 towns surveyed. No offense but I don’t associate Miami as a new firm hotspot (could be wrong). Maybe the authors were measuring new taco stand openings. I’m no expert but I’m not that confident with Acs & Armington (a SBA bureaucrat)’s methodology. So Acs’ new book–will it also be a data dump? A good readable book on the rich is Richistan: A Journey Through the American Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich by Robert Frank, though perhaps not as scholarly as Acs’ book.

Ray Lopez February 20, 2013 at 6:23 pm

PS–I am aware that the new firm formations were normalized per capita, but the data still seems wrong. Laramie, WY = #1, Fort Myers, FL = #2, Grand Junction, CO = #3, West Palm Beach, FL = #4, Bend, OR = #5, Bellingham, WA = #6, St. George, UT = #7, Miami, FL = #8, Missoula, MT = #9, Flagstaff, AZ = #10. Sorry but that’s not even close to my Top Ten list, no offense to the Chambers of Commerce. I don’t care how many hole-in-the-wall restaurants they opened.

zoltan acs March 2, 2013 at 11:35 pm

You should read the book more carefully. It is not an SBA datadump. It used the official U.S. Census Bureau data on the U. S. economy. Maybe you do not like government statistics. And we are not SBA bureaucrats. Of course, you can quible about the data and the methodology, but it is a high quality effort no matter how you cut it. Yes, I read Richistan, Great book. It is a reporter,s hobby. Not a serious book. But a fun read. I gave it to my mother and she loved it.

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