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Episode 1: Can Capitalism’s Perverse Incentives be Fixed?

Some of capitalism’s biggest problems may have their origins in evolutionary biology. But incentive prizes may help change the system for the better.

BY Benjamin Reeves | Impact | Jun 11, 2019
Power and Impact

Palo Alto Investors president and managing partner Joon Yun joins Worth senior editor, special projects Benjamin Reeves for a provocative discussion about the roots of capitalism on the first episode of the Power & Impact podcast.

Perverse incentives exist throughout our economic system, and the tendency towards self-dealing may have its origins in evolutionary biology, according to Yun. But there may be ways to change capitalism for the better, and a new incentive prize could be key in unlocking them. By providing a series of prizes for innovations in incentives—basically finding new ways to reward work and productivity—Yun hopes that a better capitalism, more closely aligned to the needs of people and families, can be created.

“In evolution you have a niche, you have diversity and competition, and so far evolution has done wonders in terms of biologic innovation,” Yun says. “So, incentive prizes are a way to model that, both how nature works and how free markets work to induce very specific innovations in areas of unmet need because of market failure.”

For more info on Joon Yun, visit drjoonyun.com. Follow Benjamin Reeves on Twitter @bpreeves and share your thoughts on the episode.

On the Power & Impact podcast, leading thinkers, investors and executives engage in deep conversations about power, money and the world we live in with Worth senior editor, special projects, Benjamin Reeves. By exploring the personal stories and ideas of its guests, Power & Impact aims to uncover how power, money and influence work in the world and how those in positions of influence create change in society and their communities.

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