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Entrepreneurship: Productive, Unproductive, and Destructive


  • Baumol, William J


The basic hypothesis is that, while the total supply of entrepreneurs varies among societies, the productive contribution of the society's entrepreneurial activities varies much more because of their allocation between productive activities, such as innovation, and largely unproductive activities, such as rent seeking or organized crime. This allocation is heavily influenced by the relative payoffs society offers to such activities. This implies that policy can influence the allocation of entrepreneurship more effectively than it can influence its supply. Historical evidence from ancient Rome, early China, and the Middle Ages and Renaissance in Europe is used to investigate the hypotheses. Copyright 1990 by University of Chicago Press.

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  • Baumol, William J, 1990. "Entrepreneurship: Productive, Unproductive, and Destructive," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 893-921, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:98:y:1990:i:5:p:893-921

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1984. "Why Was British Growth So Slow During the Industrial Revolution?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(03), pages 687-712, September.
    2. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1991. "The Allocation of Talent: Implications for Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 503-530.
    3. M. I. Finley, 1965. "Technical Innovation and Economic Progress in the Ancient World," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 18(1), pages 29-45, August.
    4. Dasgupta, Partha, 1988. "Patents, Priority and Imitation or, the Economics of Races and Waiting Games," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(389), pages 66-80, March.
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