Entrepreneurs, risk managers, and uncertainty
Hyman Minsky offered profound thoughts about the economic dialectic between, as he characterized it, ‘entrepreneurs and bankers.’

Thomas Stanton’s 2012 study of comparative organizational performance during the great 21st-century financial crisis, Why Some Firms Thrive While Others Fail, cites Frank Knight’s 1921 classic, Risk, Uncertainty, and Profit. I consider Stanton’s theme to be how to address the unavoidable reality stated thus by Knight: “Uncertainty is one of the fundamental facts of life. It is … ineradicable from business decisions.”1

As Stanton says, "Knight long ago distinguished risk, which can be quantified, from uncertainty, which requires judgment. Successful firms used judgment to add more protection than quantitative modeling would have suggested."2

Edmund Phelps reflects on Knight’s dictum as follows:

Knight … took the unprecedented position … that most business decisions, especially strategic ones, are to varying degree steps into the unknown. Each of the possible outcomes of a business venture can be considered to have some probability of occurring, but those probabilities are not known.

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Thursday, October 02, 2014 | 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Campbell Brown talks teacher tenure

We welcome you to join us as Brown shares her perspective on the role of the courts in seeking educational justice and advocating for continued reform.

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Harnessing the power of markets to tackle global poverty: A conversation with Jacqueline Novogratz

AEI welcomes you to this Philanthropic Freedom Project event, in which Novogratz will describe her work investing in early-stage enterprises, what she has learned at the helm of Acumen, and the role entrepreneurship can play in the fight against global poverty.

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