Review of Austrian Economics, 11: 5–17 (1999) ° c 1999 Kluwer Academic Publishers Creativity and/or Alertness: A Reconsideration of the Schumpeterian Entrepreneur ISRAEL M. KIRZNER he purpose of this paper is to reconsider the difference between Schumpeter’s portrayal of the entrepreneurial role, and my own earlier (1969, 1973) por- trayal of that same role. In 1969 and in 1973, in the course of developing my own understanding of the entrepreneurial character of the competitive, equili- brative market process, I emphasized these differences as I then saw them. Schumpeter’s entrepreneur, I pointed out, was essentially disruptive, destroying the pre-existing state of equilibrium. My entrepreneur, on the other hand, was responsible for the tendency through which initial conditions of disequilibrium come systematically to be displaced by equi- librative market competition. The outcome of the present reconsideration will be, not a thoroughgoing “reconciliation” of these two conceptions of the entrepreneurial role—I still believe that these views are, at least in part, contrasting ones—but a clearer understanding of how each of these apparently conﬂicting views can be seen as plausible and realistic; and how each can usefully advance economic understanding (of respectively different aspects of the capitalist economy). The central theme of this
The Review of Austrian Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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