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The Unsettled Legacy of Frank H. Knight’s Risk, Uncertainty, and Profit: A Bibliometric Exploration


Our chapter discusses the myriad ways in which Frank H. Knight’s Risk, Uncertainty, and Profit (RUP) has been incorporated by different streams of scholarship dedicated to institutional analysis since 1990, when bibliometric evidence indicates a revival of interest in his classic work. Using citation analysis, the authors identify clusters of scholarship that build on Knight’s contributions, assessing which of his insights were absorbed by different subfields and how these have been connected to recent topics and concerns. The authors then qualitatively explore these results to throw new light on the recent history of institutional economics, using Knight’s RUP as a window into the evolution of (and inter-relations between) different research traditions that currently populate the field, including new economic sociology, comparative politics, evolutionary economics, entrepreneurial studies, environmental social sciences, international political economy, and the anthropology of finance. The authors conclude that Knight’s legacy remains unsettled, with different groups selectively absorbing a subset of his ideas and developing them in relative isolation from research conducted elsewhere. Nevertheless, boundary work connecting these separate areas reveals possible spaces for collaboration among scholars who study institutions building explicitly on Knightian insights.



Suprinyak, C.E. and Oliveira, T. (2021), "The Unsettled Legacy of Frank H. Knight’s Risk, Uncertainty, and Profit: A Bibliometric Exploration", Fiorito, L., Scheall, S. and Suprinyak, C.E. (Ed.) Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology: Including a Symposium on Frank Knight's Risk, Uncertainty and Profit at 100 (Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology, Vol. 39C), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 19-38.



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