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Kirznerian Entrepreneurship and The Economics of Science


  • Butos William N.

    (Trinity College)

  • Boettke Peter J.

    (George Mason University)


The paper distinguishes two types of entrepreneurial activity in terms of their institutionally relevant contexts. Type 1 (Kirznerian) entrepreneurship refers to catallactic activity in which coordinating mechanisms, operating via the exchange of property rights, generates market prices. We identify Type 2 entrepreneurship with noncatallactic processes.The paper argues that scientific activity, despite exhibiting characteristics congenial to the economic way of thinking, cannot be generally studied as a catallactic process under prevailing institutional arrangements. Recent changes in the institutional context of science, however, suggest a widening scope for treating science as a market activity.Cet article fait la distinction entre deux types dactivité entrepreneuriale suivant les contextes institutionnels où ils apparaissent. Le premier type (kirznerien) dactivité entrepreneuriale sinscrit dans un cadre catallactique où les mécanismes de coordination opérant à travers léchange des droits de propriété génèrent les prix marchands. Le second type dactivité entrepreneuriale que nous identifions relève de processus non catallactiques. Larticle soutient que, même si elle présente des caractéristiques qui pourraient relever de la pensée économique, lactivité scientifique telle quelle est pratiquée dans les conditions institutionnelles actuelles, ne peut en général pas être étudiée comme un processus catallactique.Cependant, les changements récents dans le contexte institutionnel de la science suggèrent la possibilité grandissante denvisager la science comme une activité marchande.

Suggested Citation

  • Butos William N. & Boettke Peter J., 2002. "Kirznerian Entrepreneurship and The Economics of Science," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-14, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:12:y:2002:i:1:n:10

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Butos William Ν. & Koppl Roger, 1999. "Hayek And Kirzner At The Keynesian Beauty Contest," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 9(2-3), pages 1-20, June.
    2. Israel M. Kirzner, 1997. "Entrepreneurial Discovery and the Competitive Market Process: An Austrian Approach," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 60-85, March.
    3. James Wible, 1994. "Charles Sanders Peirce's economy of research," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 135-160.
    4. Esther-Mirjam Sent, 1999. "Economics of science: survey and suggestions," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 95-124.
    5. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1971. "The Private and Social Value of Information and the Reward to Inventive Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(4), pages 561-574, September.
    6. Richard R. Nelson, 1959. "The Simple Economics of Basic Scientific Research," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 67, pages 297-297.
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