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TDPE presents: Dr. Ivan Png

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Dr. Ivan Png on Entrepreneurship and the School of Hard Knocks: Evidence from China’s Great Famine

Dr. Ivan Png, National University of Singapore

We exploit geographical differences in the intensity of China’s Great Famine, 1959-61, as a quasi-natural experiment to identify the effect of hardship on entrepreneurship.  We find robust evidence of more entrepreneurship in counties that experienced greater hardship during the Famine.  The effect of hardship on entrepreneurship is more pronounced in those aged below six at the start of the famine.  We investigate whether the difference is due to selective mortality or adaptation of personality, and find evidence of changes towards greater risk tolerance.  

Dr. Png is a Distinguished Professor at the National University of Singapore, and a visiting professor at Cornell University. His research focuses on the economics of innovation.  Dr. Png was a nominated MP (10th Parliament of Singapore), 2005-06. Previously, he was a faculty member at the Anderson School, UCLA (1985-96). He holds a Ph.D. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Sponsored by Trade Development and Political Economy at the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs 

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