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Entrepreneurs: Guarantors of a constitutional democracy based on an ethic of individual property rights?


  • Gregory Price


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to consider if self-employed entrepreneurs, a class of individuals who require enforceable property rights to create new firms and ideas that could increase a society’s material living standards, constitute an individual property rights enforcement mechanism. Design/methodology/approach - With data from the General Social Survey, the authors estimate the parameters of mixed-effects categorical regression specifications to measure the effect of self-employment on confidence in the US Supreme Court, raising and donating funds for social or political activities, and on trying to persuade others to share political views. Findings - The findings suggest that self-employed entrepreneurs are one of the guarantors of a constitutional democracy based on an ethic of individual property rights, and public policies that are pro-entrepreneurship help mitigate the risk of constitutional failure, and maximize society’s material living and ethical standards. Research limitations/implications - The results are based on cross-sectional data, which do not account for dynamic changes in preferences. Practical implications - The findings suggest that self-employed entrepreneurs are a enforcement mechanism and a guarantor of an ethic of private property rights necessary for the ongoing success and viability of a constitutional democracy based on individual property rights. Social implications - The findings suggest that as entrepreneurs constitute an enforcement mechanism for individual property rights, to the extent that entrepreneurialism also cultivates individual virtue entrepreneurs also serve as guarantors of a moral and ethical society that is based on virtue, which results in a constitutional democracy with high material living and ethical/moral standards. Originality/value - This paper is among the first to empirically test whether entrepreneurs are an enforcement mechanism for individual property rights.

Suggested Citation

  • Gregory Price, 2019. "Entrepreneurs: Guarantors of a constitutional democracy based on an ethic of individual property rights?," Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 9(1), pages 53-64, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:jepppp:jepp-08-2019-0070

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