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Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Human Flourishing

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This essay uses Edmund Phelps new book Mass Flourishing: How Grassroots Innovation Created Jobs,Challenge, and Change (Princeton University Press, 2013) as inspiration to discuss innovation and entrepreneurship. The book is laudable for its discussion of what constitutes a “good life”. Phelps argues that true life satisfaction cannot be achieved through a purposeless quest for wealth and material consumption, but rather through adventure, entrepreneurship or creative endeavors. Weaknesses of the book include a overly glossy characterization of the period before WW II, a niggardly evaluation of European innovation and the lack of convincing empirical evidence for the claim that the rate of innovation has slowed. These flaws are regrettable given the importance of the book´s main message: Innovation and creative entrepreneurship are not merely the keys to economic growth, but to life satisfaction as well. This essay discusses topics in entrepreneurship research linked to the book, including the link between innovation and entrepreneurship, the role of institutions for entrepreneurship, and the tendency of national accounts to under-record the social value of innovation and entrepreneurship. If the measures used do not capture the full social value of innovation, we are likely to underestimate the genuine rate of innovation. Government policy may also be misguided.

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  • Henrekson, Magnus, 2014. "Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Human Flourishing," Working Paper Series 999, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 15 Jan 2014.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0999
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    2. Boudreaux, Christopher J. & Elert, Niklas & Henrekson, Magnus & Lucas, David S., 2021. "Entrepreneurial Accessibility, Eudaimonic Well-Being, and Inequality," Working Paper Series 1410, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
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    4. Kjell Hausken & John F. Moxnes, 2019. "Innovation, Development and National Indices," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 141(3), pages 1165-1188, February.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Innovation; Entrepreneurship; Institutions; Culture; Modernism; Postmodernism; Values;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility
    • P47 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Performance and Prospects
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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