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The chapter aims to enhance the understanding of the development of Kirzner’s theory of entrepreneurship. To do so, elements in Kirzner’s works published up until 1973…
The chapter aims to enhance the understanding of the development of Kirzner’s theory of entrepreneurship. To do so, elements in Kirzner’s works published up until 1973 that enclose the central points of this theory are studied. The chapter has four sections, in addition to the introduction and conclusion, that highlight the arguments that relate to Kirzner’s theory of entrepreneurship: (i) before the publication of his 1967 paper that presents the entrepreneurial function in the market process (1960–1967); between the 1967 paper and the publication of his most important book, Competition and Entrepreneurship, in 1973 (1967–1973); (iii) in Kirzner’s latest version of entrepreneurship theory as presented in his 1973 book; and (iv) the evolution of Kirzner’s thinking. The evolution of the author’s thinking regarding equilibrium and the entrepreneur is highlighted by presenting the different stages of his theory of entrepreneurship between 1960 and 1973.
This chapter provides a comprehensive survey of the contributions of the Austrian school of economics, with specific emphasis on post-WWII developments. We provide a brief…
This chapter provides a comprehensive survey of the contributions of the Austrian school of economics, with specific emphasis on post-WWII developments. We provide a brief history and overview of the original theorists of the Austrian school in order to set the stage for the subsequent development of their ideas by Ludwig von Mises and F. A. Hayek. In discussing the main ideas of Mises and Hayek, we focus on how their work provided the foundations for the modern Austrian school, which included Ludwig Lachmann, Murray Rothbard and Israel Kirzner. These scholars contributed to the Austrian revival in the 1960s and 1970s, which, in turn, set the stage for the emergence of the contemporary Austrian school in the 1980s. We review the contemporary development of the Austrian school and, in doing so, discuss the tensions, alternative paths, and the promising future of Austrian economics.
Shane and Venkataraman (2000) suggest “the field [of entrepreneurship] involves the study of sources of opportunities; the processes of discovery, evaluation, and…
Shane and Venkataraman (2000) suggest “the field [of entrepreneurship] involves the study of sources of opportunities; the processes of discovery, evaluation, and exploitation of opportunities; and the set of individuals who discover, evaluate, and exploit them” (p. 218). However, the study of the judgment required for opportunity evaluation has been greatly overshadowed by interest in opportunity recognition and to a lesser extent opportunity exploitation. This is surprising considering the number of economic theories of the entrepreneur that recognize sound judgment as a principal quality of entrepreneurship (Cantillon, 1755; Kirzner, 1973; Knight, 1921; Mises, 1949; Say, 1840; Schumpeter, 1934; Shackle, 1955). In fact, the first recognized theory of the entrepreneur defined the entrepreneur as someone who exercises business judgment in the face of uncertainty (Cantillon, 1755/1931, pp. 47–49). Similarly, Knight (1921, p. 271) suggests that the essence of entrepreneurship is judgment, born of uncertainty, and argues that it is this judgment that delineates the function of entrepreneur from that of manager. He goes on to point out that the function of manager does not in itself imply entrepreneurship but that a manager becomes an entrepreneur when he exercises judgment involving liability to error (Knight, 1921, p. 97). However, the judgment referred to by these theorists is not just any form of judgment, it is judgment exercised in the decision of whether to take action.
The received Austrian theory of entrepreneurship is considered in light of the generation of knowledge. It is suggested that learning involving more than the discovery of profit opportunities provides a way to endogenize knowledge and to expand the scope of entrepreneurial activity. The theoretical and applied aspects for entrepreneurial studies of this approach are discussed.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
Austrians are essentialists, one of their questions being whatmakes a thing good? Menger and Böhm‐Bawerk gave differentanswers to this question. Böhm‐Bawerk directed…
Austrians are essentialists, one of their questions being what makes a thing good? Menger and Böhm‐Bawerk gave different answers to this question. Böhm‐Bawerk directed attention explicitly to the condition of knowing how to utilise a thing. Both Menger and Böhm‐Bawerk played down their difference. The goods characteristic added by Böhm‐Bawerk to the four characteristics formulated earlier by Menger is stressed to be of value to a better understanding of modern Austrianism. A paradox that arises (the consumer is sovereign in theory but not in practice) is solved.
This chapter conceptualizes the Kirznerian entrepreneur as performing a unique and crucial role of driving an open-ended market process. Entrepreneurial alertness is a theoretical concept that occurs prior to choice and consists of changing perceptions of prices and real resource constraints. This chapter emphasizes the role of subjective perception in both arbitraging and innovative entrepreneurship and develops a simple matrix to synthesize these dual roles. This unique epistemic position in the market process qualifies both the arbitraging and innovative entrepreneur as capable of performing functions that are nonreplicable by experts outside the system.
The phenomenon of the ethnically homogeneous middleman group (EHMG) or ethnic trade network – the Chinese merchants in Southeast Asia, the Gujarati-Indians merchants in…
The phenomenon of the ethnically homogeneous middleman group (EHMG) or ethnic trade network – the Chinese merchants in Southeast Asia, the Gujarati-Indians merchants in East Africa, the Jewish merchants in medieval Europe, etc. – is ubiquitous in stateless societies, pre-industrial and in less-developed economies (Curtin, 1984). Neoclassical (Walrasian) theory of exchange cannot explain the existence of merchants let alone the phenomenon of the EHMG. This is because Neoclassical theory of exchange is a static theory of frictionless, perfectly competitive markets with the Walrasian auctioneer costlessly coordinating the plans of anonymous producers (sellers) and consumers (buyers) so as to achieve equilibrium. There is no role for merchants in the Neoclassical theory of exchange.