Welcome to APEE!
The Association of Private Enterprise Education (APEE) is an association of teachers and scholars from colleges and universities, public policy institutes, and industry with a common interest in studying and supporting the system of private enterprise. APEE hosts an annual conference for members to share their scholarly findings and offers a number of awards to recognize individuals who have contributed to the cause of private enterprise. Support for young scholars is often available to attend the annual conference. The association sponsors the Journal of Private Enterprise so scholars may share their research with the wider academic community.
APEE's Mission: Revealing the Invisible Hand Through Education
The mission of The Association of Private Enterprise Education is to put into action accurate and objective understandings of private enterprise.
Our members seek and employ creative ways of illustrating the value and importance of the invisible hand through their writings and teachings. We are putting private enterprise understanding into action.
Alan Greenspan observed over a decade ago that "what is being taught in the universities today will determine national economic policy 10 years from now."
For over two decades, The Association of Private Enterprise Education has been teaching that markets work and that maximum societal benefits come from individuals' efforts to achieve their own goals with minimal governmental interference.
Increasing Public Support
Private enterprise is part and parcel of daily life for hundreds of millions of people in scores of nations around the world. Its abstract principles underlie economic, political, and social systems which allow unprecedented material affluence and broad personal freedoms. But market forces are not as apparent to the public as the rhetoric of politicians.
In democratic societies, however, private enterprise cannot be maintained without public understanding and support. Our effectiveness in providing education and support for private enterprise is critical as we enter the 21st century. Changing public attitudes have created a receptiveness to economic understanding not seen for many decades.
Expanding Economic Understanding
Business, government, universities, unions, the media, and other institutions are all shifting in promising directions. There is growing recognition of the need for innovation and productivity in the face of difficult trade-offs among economic, social, environmental, and security goals. These factors underline the necessity of economic understanding. Increasing awareness of these factors provide fertile ground for the important work of APEE members.
It is easier to blame profits, corporations, or business people for social problems than to understand their functions in an increasingly complex, international economy. It is easier to support a politician's promised quick fix than to suffer the natural workings of dynamic market systems righting themselves.
The danger is very real that demagogues, while reviling "the rich," will loot the private wealth that is society's seed corn. The defense against demagogues is understanding and commitment to the principles of private enterprise. These are abstract principles and are not readily obvious.
APEE is committed to helping individuals understand the value of private enterprise. We are making the invisible hand apparent.
Every individual… intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his own intention ... By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good.
— Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, 1776.