Modeling Educational Entrepreneurship and Its Social Consequences: A ‘Skin-In-The-Game’ Approach to Exploring the Relationship between Free Enterprise and Social Policy


  • Sarah Cannon
  • James N. Cannon
  • Hugh M. Cannon


This paper discusses how a simulation game modeling the effects of self-interested entrepreneurial effort in the educational market can help students understand current issues relating to public policy, traditional versus non-traditional educational programs, and societal well-being. The model posits a system in which educational entrepreneurs face a market of students possessing differing levels of educational preparation. Self-interested managers can trade off specialization and scale educational strategies to maximize the value of their outcomes, in the process, determining the amount and distribution of educational achievement in the social system. The debriefing process enables an instructor to draw on students’ personal experience with the simulation (“skin in the game”), giving students an appreciation of how their decisions as educational managers impact social welfare. The game also provides an opportunity for students to apply the principles of marketing and managerial accounting as they relate to educational enterprises, thus developing their ability to transfer generalizable knowledge from one application to another.