Entrepreneurship Before and after Schumpeter
Posted: 24 Nov 2009
Date Written: 2000
Although entrepreneurship has virtually disappearedfrom the sphere of economic debate, many well-known economists have contributedto the subject over the past few centuries.While English classicaleconomists like David Ricardo and Adam Smith regarded "capitalist" and"entrepreneur" as synonymous, eighteenth-century French economistRichard Cantillon recognized the unique role of the entrepreneur and regardedentrepreneurship as the willingness to take risks.Karl Marx tended toignore the entrepreneur's role in the business process. Joseph Schumpeter's writings on entrepreneurship are outlined, particularlyhis provocative argument that only technical innovation and dynamic change canproduce a positive rate of interest.The Austrian theory ofentrepreneurship (promulgated by Ludwig von Mises and Israel Kirzner) depictsthe entrepreneur as anyone who buys cheap and sells dear.Following asummary of Mark Casson’s argument that the entrepreneur as one who makesjudgments about the coordination of resources, it is argued that Schumpeter’swritings offer a particularly astute approach to the question of how the wealthof nations is created. (SAA)
Keywords: Industrial entrepreneurship, Capitalism, Economics, Schumpeter, Joseph A.
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