The Scale of Entrepreneurship in Middle Eastern History: Inhibitive Roles of Islamic Institutions

56 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2008 Last revised: 30 Sep 2009

See all articles by Timur Kuran

Timur Kuran

Duke University - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 1, 2008

Abstract

The historical record belies the claim that Islam impeded entrepreneurship by inculcating conformism and fatalism. However, the diametrically opposed view that Islamic institutions are necessarily supportive of entrepreneurship flies in the face of the historical transformations associated with economic modernization. Islamic institutions that served innovators well in the medieval global economy became dysfunctional as the world made the transition from personal to impersonal exchange. The key problem is that Islamic law failed to stimulate the development of organizational forms conducive to pooling and managing resources on a large scale.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Middle East, Islam, development, business history

JEL Classification: N85, N25, O43, P48

Suggested Citation

Kuran, Timur, The Scale of Entrepreneurship in Middle Eastern History: Inhibitive Roles of Islamic Institutions (March 1, 2008). Economic Research Initiatives at Duke (ERID) Working Paper No. 10. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1265117 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1265117

Timur Kuran (Contact Author)

Duke University - Department of Economics ( email )

213 Social Sciences Building
Box 90097
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

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