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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues


Kenan Institute 2022 Annual Theme: Stakeholder Capitalism
Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues

Kenan Insights

Through our weekly Kenan Insights, institute-affiliated thought leaders translate recent academic research findings into actionable takeaways for business and policy. To speak with one of our experts, please contact External Affairs Associate Rob Knapp.


London Business School Professor Alex Edmans, a 2022 Kenan Institute Distinguished Fellow, followed up his recent virtual presentation on “The Power of Purposeful Business” by answering key questions from the audience. This week’s Kenan Insight offers a curated Q&A with a few of our favorites, with Professor Edmans tackling topics such as which issues government is best equipped to regulate and which may require shareholders to step in, the limits of using data in ESG measurement, and how best to encourage purposeful thinking throughout an organization.

Firms continue to strive for greater representation on corporate boards. One California law, attempting to mandate such greater representation, has encountered a recent setback. Two experts discuss obstacles to more diverse corporate leadership and offer approaches for surmounting them.

The explosive growth in ESG investing has created confusion among investors. As part of our yearlong series on stakeholder capitalism, we unpack what they should expect from ESG and try to reconcile it with both financial theory and empirical evidence. The bottom line is a bit complicated.

Does the quality of startups increase when the quantity drops? Does entrepreneurial experience help or hurt a corporate job candidate? Do diverse teams make for better startups? The 2022 Trends in Entrepreneurship report brings together our global network of affiliated experts to address these questions and more – with key findings highlighted in this week’s insight.

Remote work seems likely to continue in a post-pandemic world, if employees have their say. In this week's insight, our experts highlight how businesses can rethink workspaces and better engage and involve employees in the office and those working from home.

Stakeholder Capitalism

With a recent report from the United Nations warning that climate change has already begun to cause irreversible damage, experts during the 2022 Kenan Institute Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Conference discussed the role innovation can – and should – be playing to combat these ill effects. This week’s insight explores the topic through Q&A with Dr. Eric Toone, executive managing director and technology lead at Breakthrough Energy Ventures, and Dr. Jacqueline Pless, the Fred Kayne (1960) Career Development Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT Sloan School of Management.

The U.S. spends significantly less on child care than other developed nations, and the consequences of that spending became evident during the pandemic – particularly within underserved communities. In this week’s insight, our experts discuss why the U.S. should prioritize and fund early childhood education and care.

When high-tech companies plan to expand, U.S. cities often compete to attract their investment. While living near a new corporate neighbor can bring job creation and an economic boost, these benefits aren’t experienced equally by local inhabitants. This week's insight explores this and other key findings in new research by UNC Kenan-Flagler Professor Franklin Qian and economist Rose Tan.

Stakeholder Capitalism

ESG measurement and impact accounting can have vast economic and social influence; however, implementation is extremely challenging for both businesses and policymakers. In this week’s insight, our experts propose ways of refining ESG measures to produce structures that meet various stakeholder needs, drive reporting free from political influence and agendas, and illustrate the promise and risks of impact accounting.

Private equity investment in healthcare has grown over the last decade – but its role can be a hot topic. Some say PE funds innovation and streamlines costs, while others say it affects the quality of healthcare. In this week’s insight, RedSail Technologies Chief Strategy Officer Frances Nahas and Zetema Project Founder and Chair Mark Zitter to weigh in on the debate.

Following last week’s debate about the overheating economy, Kenan Institute experts return this week for round two – this time focusing on policy. In this week's insight, Kenan Institute’s Executive Director Greg Brown and Chief Economist Gerald Cohen debate the pandemic’s influence on U.S. fiscal policies.

As the U.S. continues to face COVID-19 and supply chain disruptions, experts debate just how worked up the economy is in its current state. This week’s Insight serves as the first in a two-part point-counterpoint series, in which Kenan Institute Executive Director Greg Brown and Chief Economist Gerald Cohen hash out the arguments both for and against an overheating economy.