APSA Class & Inequality Pre-Conference on Entrepreneurship & Innovation

2020 APSA Pre-Conference on

The Politics of Entrepreneurship, Education, Innovation, and Inclusion

Sponsored by the APSA Class & Inequality Section and the Kauffman Foundation

On Zoom!

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

12pm-3pm Pacific/3pm-6pm Eastern

Open to the Public

The APSA Class and Inequality Section invites scholars to attend a pre-conference on the politics of business, entrepreneurship, and innovation. The pre-conference will bring together scholars of political economy, comparative politics, and American politics to discuss new directions in research. The pre-conference will be held from 12PM to 3:30PM Pacific Time/3pm to 6:30PM Eastern Time on Zoom.

Schedule (all times Pacific):

12:00pm - 1:30pm: Panel on New Directions in Research (faculty panel)

Victor Menaldo (UW), Mark (Herman) Schwartz (UVA), Kathleen Thelen (MIT), Robyn Vidra (KCL)

1:30- 3:00: Graduate Student Round Table

Konrad Posch (Moderator; Berkeley), Anustubh Agnihotri (Berkeley), Lauren Fahy (Utrecht), Johnathan Guy (Berkeley), Christian Hosam (Berkeley)


  1. Build connections among graduate students, and between graduate students and faculty, who are interested in the politics and policy of business, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

  2. Generate questions and strategies for new research in political economy, public policy, development, and inequality.

News stories about high profile startups and overflowing venture capital obscure some troubling facts about entrepreneurship and innovation in modern capitalist economies. American entrepreneurship has declined dramatically over the past generation, with the number of new companies as a share of all U.S. businesses dropping by nearly half since 1978. The United States also lags behind other countries in entrepreneurship; Sweden has four times more startups per capita.

These trends generate pressing new research questions about the roles of:

  • technological change and intellectual property

  • industry consolidation and gains from scale

  • education policy and returns to education

  • market regulation at national and multinational levels

  • the increasingly winner-take-all U.S. and global economies