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Legal Entrepreneurship and Institutional Change

  • Whitman Douglas Glen

    (California State University)

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    The notion of entrepreneurship developed by Israel Kirzner has applications far beyond the market process. Legal entrepreneurs are lawyers, activists, and other participants in the legal process who are alert to opportunities to alter legal rules, thereby benefiting themselves or their clients. Legal entrepreneurship creates a dynamic that can generate virtually continuous change in the structure of legal rights and duties. On the one hand, the notion of legal entrepreneurship is a testament to the value of Kirzner’s project. But on the other, it creates a serious problem for Kirzner’s conception of welfare economics, which depends on the existence of a stable background of property rights. If the notion of entrepreneurship implies continual change in property rights, then the power of Kirznerian welfare economics is substantially curtailed.La notion d’esprit d’entreprise développée par Israel Kirzner a des applications qui vont bien au-delà du processus de marché. Les entrepreneurs juridiques sont les avocats, les activistes et autres participants au processus juridique qui ont conscience des opportunités de transformer les règles de droit, que ce soit pour leur propre bénéfice ou pour celui de leurs clients. L’entrepreneuriat juridique crée une dynamique qui peut générer des changements presque continus dans la structure des droits légaux et des devoirs. D’une part, la notion d’entrepreneuriat juridique est un témoignage de la valeur du projet de Kirzner. Mais d’autre part, il crée un sérieux problème quant à sa conception de l’économie du bien-être de Kirzner qui repose sur l’existence d’une structure stable de droits de propriété. Si la notion d’esprit d’entreprise implique un changement continuel dans les droits de propriété, alors la portée de l’économie du bienêtre de Kirzner est substantiellement réduite.

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    Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines.

    Volume (Year): 12 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 2 (June)
    Pages: 1-13

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    Handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:12:y:2002:i:2:n:6
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