Review of Austrian Economics, 11: 77–97 (1999) ° c 1999 Kluwer Academic Publishers STAVROS IOANNIDES ne of the distinguishing characteristics of Austrian economics has always been its concern with the role of institutions in economic activity. To this day, however, Austrian ideas have remained largely marginal relative to the rising school of New Institutional Economics. More speciﬁcally, as Loasby (1989), Langlois (1992) and Foss (1994, 1996) have noted, Austrian economists have never at- tempted to produce an Austrian theory of the ﬁrm. The purpose of the paper is to explore what such an Austrian perspective on the ﬁrm would have to look like, in order to be acceptable both as “Austrian” and as a “theory of the ﬁrm”. First of all, such an Austrian perspective must be capable of describing the ﬁrm as an institution that is created through the entrepreneurial action of individuals; an action which is subjectively motivated and carried out in conditions of radical uncertainty and ignorance. Taking Israel Kirzner’s theory of entrepreneurship as the starting point of our analysis, we will attempt to develop a theory of the ﬁrm on the basis of Kirzner’s notion of entrepreneurial behavior. Secondly, to count as a “theory of
The Review of Austrian Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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