Renewing Knightian Uncertainty: Problems and Possibilities

18 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2021 Last revised: 14 Sep 2021

See all articles by Amar Bhide

Amar Bhide

Harvard University - Business School (HBS)

Date Written: June 15, 2021


Frank Knight distinguished between 'uncertainty' and 'risk' to specify the true nature of 'profit’, but his specification never caught on and I do not see realistic possibilities for renewing research in this direction. Knight also used uncertainty to specify the distinctive role of the entrepreneur (not just entrepreneurial profit). Using uncertainty along similar lines – and adapting Knight’s proposed (and now forgotten) “middle way” methodology -- may offer slightly more promising prospects. I evaluate these prospects.

Keywords: Knightian uncertainty, entrepreneurship, economic methodology, economic history

JEL Classification: B0,M0,O0

Suggested Citation

Bhide, Amar, Renewing Knightian Uncertainty: Problems and Possibilities (June 15, 2021). Harvard Business School Research Paper Series No. 21-129, Available at SSRN: or

Amar Bhide (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Business School (HBS) ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics