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The substance of entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurship of substances

Raymond J. March (Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA)
Adam G. Martin (Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA)
Audrey Redford (School of Economics, Management, & Project Management, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, North Carolina, USA)

Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy

ISSN: 2045-2101

Article publication date: 15 August 2016

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to clarify the distinctions and complementary of William Baumol and Israel Kirzner’s classifications of and insights into entrepreneurship, and thus providing a more complete taxonomy of the substance of entrepreneurial activity. This paper also attempts to clarify distinctions between unproductive and destructive entrepreneurship.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper illustrates a more complete taxonomy of the substance of entrepreneurial activity by examining entrepreneurial innovation in drug markets both legal and illegal, identifying cases of productive, unproductive, superfluous, erroneous, destructive, and protective entrepreneurship.

Findings

This paper finds that the classifications of entrepreneurship (productive, superfluous, unproductive, erroneous, protective and destructive) put forth by Baumol, Kirzner, and the institutional entrepreneurship literature are complementary. While Baumol seeks to explain the disequilibrating tendencies of entrepreneurship, Kirzner seeks to explain the equilibrating tendencies of entrepreneurship within the institutional context.

Originality/value

This paper utilizes case studies from legal and illegal drug markets to uniquely and better explain the six cases of entrepreneurship. This paper also contributes to the literature by clearly articulating the complementarity of Baumolian and Kirznerian entrepreneurship.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This paper was written for a special issue of the Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy honoring the 25th anniversary of Baumol ' s seminal contribution on “Entrepreneurship: Productive, Unproductive, and Destructive”. The authors would like to thank Alexandre Padilla and Joshua C. Hall for organizing and facilitating this symposium. The authors would also like to thank two anonymous reviewers for their feedback on a previous draft. Any remaining errors are the authors own.

Citation

March, R.J., Martin, A.G. and Redford, A. (2016), "The substance of entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurship of substances", Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 201-220. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEPP-10-2015-0030

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited