The Austrian Free Enterprise Ethic: A Mengerian Comment on Kirzner (2019)

Review of Austrian Economics. doi/10.1007/s11138-019-00496-3, 2019

12 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2020

See all articles by Per L. Bylund

Per L. Bylund

School of Entrepreneurship; Ratio Institute; Ludwig von Mises Institute

Date Written: December 9, 2019


Kirzner (2019) develops an Austrian perspective to critique Friedman’s universal ethic for profit, specifically for not including a rationale for entrepreneurial discovery of pure profit. In this article, I assess Kirzner’s argument, drawing from the theory originally developed by Carl Menger in his groundbreaking Principles of Economics. I specifically contrast Kirzner’s perspective with Menger’s theory regarding the concept of economic good, which offers insights into how and by whom goods are valued and the implications for the Austrian theory of entrepreneurship and production. Following my assessment and critique, I leverage Menger’s economic theory to draft a uniquely Austrian ethic for the free enterprise system.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Ethics, Free enterprise system, Carl Menger

JEL Classification: B53, L26, P1

Suggested Citation

Bylund, Per L., The Austrian Free Enterprise Ethic: A Mengerian Comment on Kirzner (2019) (December 9, 2019). Review of Austrian Economics. doi/10.1007/s11138-019-00496-3, 2019, Available at SSRN:

Per L. Bylund (Contact Author)

School of Entrepreneurship ( email )

Oklahoma State University
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Stillwater, OK 74078
United States
4057444301 (Phone)

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Ratio Institute ( email )

P.O. Box 3203
SE-103 64 Stockholm

Ludwig von Mises Institute ( email )

Auburn, AL
United States


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