Do Business Ecosystems See Color?

June 13, 2018
Article • Urban Investment Strategies Center

This article describes an American community survey and a survey of business owners of which the data are merged to assess the experiences of minority- versus white-owned small businesses between 2007 and 2012. This is highlighted due to it being a period encompassing the worst economic downturn since The Great Depression. White firms declined while minority firms grew rapidly. Despite recent efforts to create inclusive entrepreneurial and business ecosystems, however, minority business owners made little progress toward achieving equity or parity with white business owners. Policy prescriptions and implications for future research are discussed. More

Never Stop Learning: Stay Relevant, Reinvent Yourself, and Thrive

June 05, 2018

In Never Stop Learning, behavioral scientist and operations expert Bradley R. Staats describes the principles and practices that comprise dynamic learning and outlines a framework to help you become more effective as a lifelong learner. Replete with the most recent research about how we learn as well as engaging stories that show how real learning happens, Never Stop Learning will become the operating manual for leaders, managers, and anyone who wants to keep thriving in the new world of work. More

How Do Financial Expertise and Networks Affect Investing? Evidence from the Governance of University Endowments

May 30, 2018
• Working Paper • Institute for Private Capital

Using the unique laboratory of university endowments, we study the effects of expertise and networks on investment performance. Using detailed information on more than 11,000 unique board members for 579 university endowments, we show that the financial expertise of an endowment’s governing board is positively correlated with allocations to alternative investments and higher total returns. The type of expertise matters as elements appear unique to particular subsets of alternatives, such as private equity and venture capital, which are more difficult to analyze and manage than traded public securities. Further, we find that endowments whose board members have extensive networks of investment professionals also invest significantly more in these asset classes. With respect to returns, we find that endowments benefit from both higher allocations to private assets and, in some cases, selection of high performing managers. More

Performance of Private Credit Funds: A First Look

May 09, 2018
Working Paper • Institute for Private Capital

Although private credit funds have rapidly grown into a standalone asset class over the last decade, little is known about the aggregate performance of these funds. To provide a first look at absolute and relative performance, we utilize the Burgiss database of institutional quality private credit funds. Our analysis evaluates 476 private credit funds with nearly $480 billion in committed capital, including a subset of 155 direct lending funds. We review the recent trends within private credit, provide an overview of various strategies, describe returns since 2004 and compare private credit to several benchmark indices in order to develop a preliminary view of performance and risk across various private credit strategies. Measures of absolute performance reveal IRRs that are positive for the top three quartiles across all sub-strategies. More

Personal Fabrication as an Operational Strategy: Value of Delegating Production to Customer

May 08, 2018
Working Paper

We develop a stylized model that captures two critical benefits of PF strategy: product personalization and postponement of product positioning. Our paper is the first to study these benefits and associated trade-offs and it sheds light on how a firm can benefit from adopting PF strategy. More

Overcoming the Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Unethical Behavior: An Extension of Integrated Self-Control Theory

May 01, 2018

Previous research has used an ego depletion perspective to establish a self-regulatory model linking sleep deprivation to unethical behavior via depletion (Barnes, Schaubroeck, Huth, & Ghumman, 2011; Christian & Ellis, 2011; Welsh, Ellis, Christian, & Mai, 2014). We extend this research by moving beyond depletion to examine a more nuanced, process-based view of self-control. More

Strategy Formation as Solving a Complex and Novel Problem

April 10, 2018
Working Paper

In this paper, we seek to better understand how executives can intelligently combine modular and integrated problem solving processes to form the best possible strategy in entrepreneurial environments. To do so, we compare the efficacy of strategies formed via different processes under various market conditions, exploring the sources of significant performance differences. We address this question using NK simulation methods. More

Applied Economic Forecasting Using Time Series Methods

April 02, 2018

Economic forecasting is a key ingredient of decision making both in the public and in the private sector. Because economic outcomes are the result of a vast, complex, dynamic and stochastic system, forecasting is very difficult and forecast errors are unavoidable. Because forecast precision and reliability can be enhanced by the use of proper econometric models and methods, this innovative book provides an overview of both theory and applications. Undergraduate and graduate students learning basic and advanced forecasting techniques will be able to build from strong foundations, and researchers in public and private institutions will have access to the most recent tools and insights More

Measuring Renewable Energy as Baseload Power

March 30, 2018
White Paper • Energy Center

On September 12, 2017, Hillsborough became the first town in North Carolina to commit to 100% renewable energy, joining 43 other U.S. localities in making the pledge. In addition, the RE 100 has fostered commitments from 116 corporations, while over 1,100 individual businesses have pledged to maintain commitments under the Paris Climate Accord. However, questions remain about how these entities can accomplish 100% renewable energy goals and the full economics of such goals. This study, sponsored by the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise and the Kenan-Flagler Energy Center, analyzes the economic cost of renewable energy’s ‘last frontier’, providing reliable baseload po More

Beyond the Chicken and Egg: Strategy Formation in Two-Sided Marketplace Ventures

March 20, 2018
Working Paper

Extant literature highlights the importance of specific choices such as pricing and particular strategieslike “get big fast” for strategy in two-sided markets. Yet it leaves open how executives form a viable strategy in entrepreneurial settings, particularly when buyers, sellers, and product may be uncertain. With an inductive case study of 8 two-sided marketplace ventures in multiple industries, we developa theoretical framework that describes how entrepreneurs address this challenge: by focusing on successive strategic domains, beginning with supply. More