Discovering Rhetoric: The Ecology of Enterprise in the Bourgeois Era
Adam G. Martin
Texas Tech University - Free Market Institute
May 8, 2012
Journal of Socio-Economics, Forthcoming
Deirdre McCloskey's Bourgeois Dignity deploys Israel Kirzner's theory of entrepreneurial discovery as a critical component in her explanation of the Industrial Revolution. This essay examines whether Kirzner's theory can bear the analytical load that McCloskey would place on it. I identify two potential incongruities between Kirzner's theory and McCloskey's historical account but find them both unconvincing. Kirzner's entrepreneur is a good fit for McCloskey's story. I argue further that the fit can be strengthened by incorporating further elements of Kirzner's theory, including entrepreneurial alertness.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 24
Keywords: Industrial Revolution, Entrepreneurship, Rhetoric
JEL Classification: B53, O1, N13
Date posted: October 1, 2011 ; Last revised: May 9, 2012
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