The Review of Austrian Economics, 16:2/3, 153–168, 2003.
2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Manufactured in The Netherlands.
The Political Entrepreneur and the Coordination of
the Political Process: A Market Process Perspective
of the Political Market
ABEL FRANC¸ OIS email@example.com (http://laep.univ-paris1.fr)
e Nancy II et LAboratoire d’Economie Publique (LAEP), Universit
e Paris I Maison des Sciences
Economiques 106/112 Bd de l’H
opital 75647 Paris Cedex 13
Abstract. The aim of this article is to apply the Austrian analysis of the entrepreneur to the political process.
By distinguishing the political process from the economic process, we will endeavour to show to what extent an
analysis in terms of the political market process is both possible and relevant. The existence of an information
conveyance which can be assimilated to a price system within the political process, with its resulting proﬁts, are
motivating elements for the political entrepreneur. The political entrepreneur is doubly specialised and possesses
all the Kirznerian functions of the Austrian entrepreneur as a coordinating agent for the political process.
Key Words: entrepreneur, political market, market and political process, Austrian school
JEL classiﬁcation: D72.
The neo-classical paradigm has excluded the entrepreneur from its ﬁeld of analysis. Due
to the inﬂuence of its neo-classical component, the entrepreneur has had little mention in
the economic analysis of politics. The politician is generally looked to for his qualities as
a leader within a party or a pressure group. Since its appearance, the Austrian tradition
has introduced an important out set of theories concerning entrepreneurship. Hence, the
entrepreneur is today a theme which is central to its development and speciﬁcity (Harper
Any analysis of the political entrepreneur will thus necessarily and logically rest on the
tools of the Austrian tradition. However, this implies a modiﬁcation of the analysis of the
political market which should not be seen in terms of efﬁciency or equilibrium, but in
terms of process and of coordination. The issue is to highlight the coordinating role of the
politician in the political process.
There is a double purpose in the application of Austrian entrepreneurial theory to the
political market. First, the Austrian tools will be tested for their stability in the context
of a speciﬁc object. Secondly, the validity of the economic analysis of politics will be
strengthened by the use of tools that are different from the original paradigm. Moreover,
this approach ﬁts into the current attempts to create an Austrian public economy.
to be creative, any such attempt must avoid returning to the question of the very existence
of a political market or to opposing methods.