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The Determinants of Entrepreneurial Alertness and the Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

Annual Proceedings of the Wealth and Well-Being of Nations, Vol. 2, Emily Chamlee-Wright, ed., Beloit College Press, 2011

21 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2011  

Virgil Henry Storr

George Mason University - Department of Economics; George Mason University - Mercatus Center; University of Arizona Center for the Philosophy of Freedom

Arielle John

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 12, 2011

Abstract

Israel Kirzner has made important contributions to our understanding of the critical role that entrepreneurship plays in markets and has considerable influence in economics, public policy and entrepreneurship studies. For Kirzner, understanding the role of the entrepreneur is essential to understanding how errors get corrected in the market and understanding the role of alertness is essential to understanding how it is that entrepreneurs come to identify these errors. As he explains, alert individuals discover profit opportunities and, thus, driving the market process toward equilibrium. Although Kirzner’s work on entrepreneurship has been widely celebrated, it has been criticized on several fronts. Specifically, he has been criticized for abstracting from the psychological characteristics of real world entrepreneurs and the determinants of alertness. These criticisms, we contend, are unfair and misunderstand Kirzner’s project. Moreover, we argue, rather than closing off inquiry, his theory of entrepreneurship makes a fruitful analysis of the psychological characteristics of entrepreneurs and the determinants of alertness possible.

Suggested Citation

Storr, Virgil Henry and John, Arielle, The Determinants of Entrepreneurial Alertness and the Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs (January 12, 2011). Annual Proceedings of the Wealth and Well-Being of Nations, Vol. 2, Emily Chamlee-Wright, ed., Beloit College Press, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1738825

Virgil Henry Storr (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

HOME PAGE: http://virgilstorr.org/

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

HOME PAGE: http://virgilstorr.org/

University of Arizona Center for the Philosophy of Freedom ( email )

Tucson, AZ 85721
United States

HOME PAGE: http://virgilstorr.org/

Arielle John

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

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