Kirznerian versus Knightian Entrepreneurs in Film
| Peter Klein |
Kirzner’s entrepreneur is a pure discoverer who owns no capital. Knight’s entrepreneur is an uncertainty-bearing, resource owner with skin in the game. So who do you think is the real entrepreneur, Jerry Lundegaard or Wade Gustafson?
Bonus: my favorite scene from Miller’s Crossing, useful to illustrate the differences between action (emphasized by Knight) and cognition (emphasized by Kirzner):
So the deal is, I give you Bernie, smooth it
over with Leo, and you bail me out with Lazarre.
Yeah, then we’re all friends again: You, me,
Leo, the Dane.
The Dane sneers from the couch:
We can maybe have tea sometime.
C’mon, Dane, Friends is a mental state.
Wuddya say, kid?
. . . I’ll think about it.
He’ll think about it. Hear that, Dane?
That’s terrific. The kid’s a thinker.
Does he want a pillow for his head?
Okay kid, think about it. It’s a mental state.
But make it quick, my family’s waitin’.
I’ll think about it and tell you later.
He needs to think in the thinking room.
Caspar shakes his head sadly.
Kid, if it’ll help you think, you should know
that if you don’t do this you won’t be in any
shape to walk outa here.
Tom considers this.
. . . Would that be physically, or just a mental