Kirzner and Entrepreneurship Research

9 December 2013 at 9:33 am 1 comment

| Peter Klein |

downloadPer Bylund and I have written a paper on Israel Kirzner’s influence on the entrepreneurship literature. It’s titled “The Place of Austrian Economics in Contemporary Entrepreneurship Research” but deals mainly with Kirzner. Comments are appreciated.

The paper was written for a forthcoming special issue of the Review of Austrian Economics on Kirzner’s contributions. We take a nuanced position: While Kirzner’s work underlies the dominant opportunity-discovery perspective in the entrepreneurship research literature, this perspective is increasingly challenged among entrepreneurship scholars, for some of the same reasons that Kirzner’s theoretical framework has been criticized by his fellow Austrian economists. Nonetheless, it is impossible to make progress in entrepreneurship studies, or the Austrian analysis of the market, without engaging Kirzner’s ideas.

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Austrian Economics, Entrepreneurship, History of Economic and Management Thought, Papers, People.

Veblen and Davenport Postrel on Dynamic Capabilities

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Rafe Champion  |  9 December 2013 at 4:57 pm

    This is not a great time of year to read long papers and a scan turned up this para. Ok it is very near the beginning, I promise to scan more of it in the New Year (that is a resolution!).

    “One possible explanation is that Austrians and other “heterodox” economists have simply not been persuasive—mainstream economists have given these critiques a fair hearing and found
    them wanting. Other explanations build on institutional and public-choice insights about the university system and the professionalization of the economics discipline, which has tended to emphasize conformity (Bernstein, 2004). One might argue that Austrian economics, while not “mainstream,” fits into the “mainline” of economic thought (Boettke, 2012). In any case, the Austrian school—despite its growing presence as an alternative tradition with a strong theoretical and empirical core and a vibrant set of supporting institutions including degree programs, research and educational organizations, significant funding, conferences, and journals—remains outside the mainstream of the economics profession.”

    The following para points out that the situation is different in seveal other diciplines where the Austrians are taken more seriously. They appear to be areas that spend more time looking at things outside the window.

    Specialization and professionalization became the dominant motifs of intellectual/academic life in the 20th century and they have big downsides. Part of the problem for economics may be the way it professionalized just in the wake of the professionalization of the philosophy of science by the logical positivists, followed by the logical empiricists. Nothing useful for working scientists came from that movement and so far as economics is concerned, Wade Hands conceded that point in his 2001 book Reflection Without Rules which surveyed the contribution of the philosophy and methodology of economics over a few decades when IT became specialized and professionalised as well. Something different is required and I suspect that the different thing will have Austrian fingerprints all over it. If you don’t believe me, ask Barry Smith.

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