Innovative government program design: the Dutch Postcode Lottery

In Washington state, where I grew up and where my sister and brother-in-law are teachers, lottery winnings have been dedicated to education since 2000. In 2012, the state Supreme Court found the state in violation of its own constitutional mandate to fully fund public education. And in 2014, the same court found the state in...

Got $4000? You’re rich, by global standards

Ponder these economic inequality stats: “According to Crédit Suisse, people with a net worth of over $1 million represent just 0.7 percent of the planet’s population, but they control 41 percent of its wealth. 69 percent of the world’s population have a net worth of under $10,000 – they account for a mere 3 percent...

Distributing Money to the Poor

In this blog, I’ve talked about the distribution of goods and services, one of the pillars of marketing. I’ve also talked about fairness and inequality, which are closely related to distribution. But when it comes to the public good, maybe that’s all more complicated than it’s need to be. Maybe we just need to be...Continue reading

Marketing and the Social Good: Accounting Profits and Economic Profits

In their September 2013 issue, Harvard Business Review ran an article titled, “Innovating for Shared Value.”  The article lays out a five-piece framework for how companies can “deliver both social benefit and business value.” It also references a HBR piece from January this year, “Creating Shared Value,” that argues the next competitive frontier for companies...Continue reading

The power of price: extending electronic payment to the poor

According to a paper on the Social Science Research Network, in 2012, 16 percent of the world’s population sent, delivered, or received an informal cash payment, or remittance. These people reside in Southeast Asia, and the individual money amounts transferred are small. So small, in fact, that financial institutions don’t bother providing services to support...Continue reading

Unfair income distribution hurts even the rich

In a previous post, I talked about the transition from hunter-gatherer societies, where hording was a threat to group survival and thus not tolerated, to settled agrarian societies, where it was possible to amass resources and thus have more than your neighbor. Having more translated into advantage and power. So long as everyone had enough,...Continue reading

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