Capital and the Common Good

How Innovative Finance Is Tackling the World's Most Urgent Problems

Georgia Levenson Keohane

Columbia University Press

Capital and the Common Good

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Pub Date: September 2016

ISBN: 9780231178020

264 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $29.95£24.00

Pub Date: September 2016

ISBN: 9780231541664

264 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $28.99£23.00

Capital and the Common Good

How Innovative Finance Is Tackling the World's Most Urgent Problems

Georgia Levenson Keohane

Columbia University Press

Despite social and economic advances around the world, poverty and disease persist, exacerbated by the mounting challenges of climate change, natural disasters, political conflict, mass migration, and economic inequality. While governments commit to addressing these challenges, traditional public and philanthropic dollars are not enough. Here, innovative finance has shown a way forward: by borrowing techniques from the world of finance, we can raise capital for social investments today. Innovative finance has provided polio vaccines to children in the DRC, crop insurance to farmers in India, pay-as-you-go solar electricity to Kenyans, and affordable housing and transportation to New Yorkers. It has helped governmental, commercial, and philanthropic resources meet the needs of the poor and underserved and build a more sustainable and inclusive prosperity.

Capital and the Common Good shows how market failure in one context can be solved with market solutions from another: an expert in securitization bundles future development aid into bonds to pay for vaccines today; an entrepreneur turns a mobile phone into an array of financial services for the unbanked; and policy makers adapt pay-for-success models from the world of infrastructure to human services like early childhood education, maternal health, and job training. Revisiting the successes and missteps of these efforts, Georgia Levenson Keohane argues that innovative finance is as much about incentives and sound decision-making as it is about money. When it works, innovative finance gives us the tools, motivation, and security to invest in our shared future.
Capital and the Common Good shows we are living in a time where financial tools can expand to solve some of the world's most vexing problems. This book is packed with information and inspiration. Robert J. Shiller, Nobel Laureate in Economics
Georgia Levenson Keohane weaves together case studies from around the globe that illustrate the immense potential of market mechanisms to more effectively use public, philanthropic, and private sector funds to address the world's seismic challenges. Capital and the Common Good should be read by policy makers, philanthropic funders, and private investors alike—anyone looking for practical approaches to improve outcomes on the pressing issues of our day, from climate change to public health to economic inequality to urban revitalization. Robert E. Rubin, cochairman of the Council on Foreign Relations and former U.S. Treasury Secretary
Development assistance and philanthropy are vital resources in the campaign to solve the world's big developmental and social issues. But they are not enough. There has never been a greater need for innovative finance to meet the scale of economic and social disparities. In this exceptional work, Keohane shows us how we can make capitalism work better for all. Philippe Douste-Blazy, under-secretary-general and special adviser on innovative financing for development, United Nations
Keohane shows how market-based solutions can be applied to some of our most pressing global challenges through public-private partnerships. She does an excellent job of bridging the world of academia, finance, philanthropy, and policy, providing examples of some of the most impactful partnerships. Sonal Shah, executive director, Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation
With the wave of some visible hands, innovative financiers are turning their skills and tools to poverty, global health, and climate change. Keohane dives into this work with relish, detail, and insight—guiding us deftly through the complex world of impact investing. Sheryl WuDunn, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, author of A Path Appears and Half the Sky
Keohane is an engaging writer, a strong storyteller, an incisive and expansive thinker, and has, in this book, provided an unprecedented collection of innovative finance approaches for social impact. Ben Mangan, executive director, Center for Social Sector Leadership, Haas School of Business, Berkeley
[Capital and the Common Good] shows that finance can be, and often is, allied with the interests of the public good. Brenda Jubin, Investing.com
An enlightening choice, the likely audience of which is finance and economic development professionals. Library Journal
An impressively written, organized and presented study.... A critically important and seminal work of exceptional scholarship that is unreservedly recommended, especially for community and academic library Contemporary Economics collections and supplemental studies reading lists. Midwest Book Review
Ms. Keohane has many ideas that could do much good and could conceivably be pursued much further under a business-oriented president. Robert J. Shiller, New York Times: Upshot
Immensely informative, easily readable, and definitive.... This is definitely a must-read for anyone wishing to undertand the background and efects of innovative financing.... Essential. CHOICE
An excellent survey of recent developments in 'innovative finance,' and a text that provides important foundational research for scholars seeking to explore the integration of ethics and economics in the realm of finance. Journal of Markets and Morality
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Innovative Finance and the Visible Hand
1. REDD Forests, Green Bonds, and the Price of Carbon
2. Health: Medicine for Market Failure
3. Financial Inclusion and Access to Capital
4. Toward a New Disaster Finance: Redefining Risk, Response, and Resilience
5. Innovative Finance in Communities Across the United States
Conclusion: Financing the Future: The Lessons of Innovative Finance and the TIES That Bind
Epilogue: The Road Ahead
Notes
Index

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Winner, 2018 Axiom Business Book Award for Philanthropy / Nonprofit / Sustainability

Winner, 2018 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

About the Author

Georgia Levenson Keohane is executive director of the Pershing Square Foundation. She is also a professor in the Social Enterprise Program at Columbia Business School and a senior fellow at New America Foundation. She is the author of Social Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century (2013).