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Purpose – This paper seeks to examine how productive entrepreneurial activities, such as innovation, influence unproductive entrepreneurial activities, such as regulatory rent seeking. Design/methodology/approach – To investigate the argument the authors consider Bavaria's brewing industry in the fourteenth through sixteenth centuries using an analytic narrative approach. Findings – The example of Bavaria's brewing industry suggests that productive entrepreneurial activities may increase unproductive entrepreneurial activities. Confronted with a situation in which innovation erodes their monopoly returns, legally protected producers and policymakers reregulate industry to recapture lost rents. Regulation policy under such reregulation tends to be more encompassing, and thus produces more unproductive entrepreneurial activity, than pre-innovation regulation policy. This reflects the greater number or variety of producers that new regulation policy must encompass for reregulation to recreate rents. Originality/value – The paper builds on Thomas’ work, which suggests that innovation can undermine existing regulatory institutions and result in deregulation. This paper identifies an alternative channel through which productive entrepreneurial innovation may influence unproductive entrepreneurial rent seeking. It argues that productive entrepreneurial innovation by legally unprotected producers in an industry can also increase, rather than decrease, the extent of unproductive entrepreneurship in that industry

  • Diana W. Thomas
  • Peter T. Leeson

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Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy.

Volume (Year): 1 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
Pages: 84-95

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Handle: RePEc:eme:jepppp:v:1:y:2012:i:4:p:84-95
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  1. Diana W. Thomas, 2009. "Deregulation despite transitional gains," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 140(3), pages 329-340, September.
  2. 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.
  3. Christopher Coyne & Russell Sobel & John Dove, 2010. "The non-productive entrepreneurial process," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 333-346, December.
  4. Leeson, Peter T. & Boettke, Peter J., 2009. "Two-tiered entrepreneurship and economic development," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 252-259, September.
  5. 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.
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