CIBER Focus: "Entrepreneurship, Economic Development, and Political Stability" with Sameeksha Desai
Sameeksha Desai and Brenda Bailey-Hughes discuss the relationship between entrepreneurship, economic development, and political stability in a global context. Desai is Assistant Professor at the School of Public & Environmental Affairs, and Bailey-Hughes is Senior Lecturer of Business Communication at the Kelley School of Business, both at Indiana University. Desai's research focuses on comparing entrepreneurship across countries, which is difficult due to the different types of entrepreneurial activity and inconsistent data measuring that activity. For example, many entrepreneurs operate in the informal economy. Desai discusses some helpful datasets, such as the World Bank's Doing Business index, which compares entrepreneurship across countries. This allows researchers to isolate factors that allow for entrepreneurial success. In general, countries that are poor and politically unstable perform poorly on the index. Desai and Bailey-Hughes next discuss entrepreneurship in conflict zones, areas that are on a spectrum of political instability. Desai states that her interest in these areas is driven by two questions. What are the incentives that drive entrepreneurs to behave in the ways that they do? And how can policies create incentives to bring people into the productive, formal sector? She uses examples from post-conflict Iraq as illustration. Desai concludes that there is tremendous opportunity for entrepreneurs in conflict zones around the world, but there is also great risk. *This video was recorded as a part of the Indiana University CIBER Focus Vodcast series.