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Property rights, entrepreneurship and coordination

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  • Harper, David A.
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    Abstract

    The notion of plan coordination enjoys a central place in the analysis of institutions and competitive market processes. The conventional wisdom is that institutions and policies vary in the extent to which they promote competition and how quickly and completely they bring individuals’ plans into closer coordination with one another. Kirzner has provided the most fully elaborated statement on the use of coordination as a positive analytical device for explaining market dynamics and as a normative criterion for evaluating economic policies. We identify the core propositions in his analysis that elucidate how economic coordination depends upon that most fundamental of market institutions – the system of private property rights. We also probe into Kirzner's claims about inherent limitations in our ability to compare the coordinative potential of alternative property rights systems. We unpack the consequences of these core propositions using the economic theory of property rights. We also examine Kirzner's assertion that dynamic competition – including Schumpeterian innovation – is necessarily coordinative in its market effects. We find that his argument rests on the implicit assumption that property rights remain constant during the process of market adjustment. We provide a case study of the advent of commercial aviation as a potential counterexample to his claims.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268111002678
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

    Volume (Year): 88 (2013)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 62-77

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:88:y:2013:i:c:p:62-77

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

    Related research

    Keywords: Economic coordination; Property rights; Market process; Entrepreneurship;

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    References

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    1. Benson, Bruce L, 2002. " Regulatory Disequilibrium and Inefficiency: The Case of Interstate Trucking," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, vol. 15(2-3), pages 229-55, June.
    2. Jakee, Keith & Spong, Heath, 2003. "Praxeology, Entrepreneurship and the Market Process: A Review of Kirzner's Contribution," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(04), pages 461-486, December.
    3. Israel Kirzner, 1998. "Coordination as a Criterion for Economic “Goodness”," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 289-301, December.
    4. Gunning, J Patrick, 2000. " The Property System in Austrian Economics: Ronald Coase's Contribution," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 209-20, September.
    5. Peter Lewin, 1997. "Hayekian equilibrium and change," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(2), pages 245-266.
    6. Daniel Klein, 1997. "Convention, Social Order, and the Two Coordinations," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 319-335, December.
    7. Klein, Daniel & Orsborn, Aaron, 2009. "Concatenate coordination and mutual coordination," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 176-187, October.
    8. Kirzner, Israel M, 1999. " Creativity and/or Alertness: A Reconsideration of the Schumpeterian Entrepreneur," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, vol. 11(1-2), pages 5-17.
    9. Erica Field, 2007. "Entitled to Work: Urban Property Rights and Labor Supply in Peru," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1561-1602, November.
    10. Barzel,Yoram, 1997. "Economic Analysis of Property Rights," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521597135, October.
    11. Whitman Douglas Glen, 2002. "Legal Entrepreneurship and Institutional Change," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 12(2), pages 1-13, June.
    12. Krecké Elisabeth, 2002. "The Role of Entrepreneurship in Shaping Legal Evolution," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 12(2), pages 1-18, June.
    13. M.J. Rizzo, 1992. "Equilibrium Visions," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 60(1), pages 66-73, 03.
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