2 Jul 2016
Who Creates Wealth ?
Economists have long been passionate about the source of wealth, which some have seen in precious metals (the mercantilists), others in agricultural production (the physiocrats) or labour itself (classical authors).
In our modern economies, innovation has become the main driver of wealth creation. What are its main actors: the biggest companies, with their considerable research and investment capacities, or small (or micro) companies and individual entrepreneurs? The role of other sectors and stakeholders should also be taken into consideration, including the financial sector (investment banks, venture capital, business angels, private equity… which financial environment is the more conducive to innovation?) ; State (how should it reform to fit the requirements of an economy of innovation?); and also civil society –not-for-profit organisations or individuals– whose activities are not often taken into account. What is their role in value creation?
As Jean Bodin said, “the only wealth is man” so does genuine value creation lie in the further development of “human capital” (education, health), making us all a source of wealth?
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