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The Meaning of Entrepreneurship: A Modular Concept

  • Michael Peneder

    (WIFO)

Entrepreneurship has been characterised as one of the most intriguing but equally elusive concepts in economics. This critical review first surveys its major intellectual roots and then proposes a modular concept of entrepreneurship that preserves its essentially distinctive behavioural, functional, and occupational dimensions. It argues that the behavioural definition identifies the only attribute that is both comprehensive and unique to the nature of entrepreneurship, while the functional and occupational definitions add what is specificity required for many analytical purposes. To validate the concept, the paper discusses the appropriate empirical units of observation and maps a general policy framework.

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Paper provided by WIFO in its series WIFO Working Papers with number 335.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 16 Mar 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wfo:wpaper:y:2009:i:335
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  1. Roy Thurik & Isabel Grilo, 2005. "Latent and actual entrepreneurship in Europe and the US: some recent developments," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2005-24, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
  2. Witt, Ulrich, 1999. " Do Entrepreneurs Need Firms? A Contribution to a Missing Chapter in Austrian Economics," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, vol. 11(1-2), pages 99-109.
  3. Beck, T.H.L. & Demirgüc-Kunt, A. & Maksimovic, V., 2008. "Financing patterns around the world : Are small firms different?," Other publications TiSEM 7078f1cc-51a6-4556-b193-d, School of Economics and Management.
  4. Witt, Ulrich, 1998. "Imagination and leadership - The neglected dimension of an evolutionary theory of the firm," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 161-177, April.
  5. Schultz, Theodore W, 1975. "The Value of the Ability to Deal with Disequilibria," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 827-46, September.
  6. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3132806 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Baumol William J. & Litan Robert E & Schramm Carl J, 2007. "Sustaining Entrepreneurial Capitalism," Capitalism and Society, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-38, November.
  8. Henrekson, Magnus & Johansson, Dan, 2008. "Gazelles as Job Creators – A Survey and Interpretation of the Evidence," Working Paper Series 733, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  9. Isabel Grilo & Jesus-Maria Irigoyen, 2006. "Entrepreneurship in the EU: To Wish and not to be," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 305-318, 05.
  10. Van Praag, C Mirjam & Van Ophem, Hans, 1995. "Determinants of Willingness and Opportunity to Start as an Entrepreneur," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(4), pages 513-40.
  11. Nadim Ahmad & Anders Hoffman, 2008. "A Framework for Addressing and Measuring Entrepreneurship," OECD Statistics Working Papers 2008/2, OECD Publishing.
  12. Thomas Grebel & Andreas Pyka & Horst Hanusch, 2003. "An Evolutionary Approach to the Theory of Entrepreneurship," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(4), pages 493-514.
  13. Serguei Kaniovski & Michael Peneder, 2008. "Determinants of firm survival: a duration analysis using the generalized gamma distribution," Empirica, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 41-58, March.
  14. Santarelli, Enrico & Vivarelli, Marco, 2006. "Entrepreneurship and the Process of Firms’ Entry, Survival and Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 2475, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. repec:dgr:uvatin:20010030 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Silva, Olmo, 2006. "The Jack-of-All-Trades Entrepreneur: Innate Talent or Acquired Skill?," IZA Discussion Papers 2264, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. repec:att:wimass:8827 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Hartog, Joop & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada & Jonker, Nicole, 2002. "Linking Measured Risk Aversion to Individual Characteristics," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 3-26.
  19. Åstebro, Thomas & Thompson, Peter, 2011. "Entrepreneurs, Jacks of all trades or Hobos?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 637-649, June.
  20. Nadim Ahmad & Richard G. Seymour, 2008. "Defining Entrepreneurial Activity: Definitions Supporting Frameworks for Data Collection," OECD Statistics Working Papers 2008/1, OECD Publishing.
  21. Wennekers, Sander & Thurik, Roy, 1999. " Linking Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 27-55, August.
  22. Holmes, Thomas J & Schmitz, James A, Jr, 1990. "A Theory of Entrepreneurship and Its Application to the Study of Business Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(2), pages 265-94, April.
  23. Kihlstrom, Richard E & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1979. "A General Equilibrium Entrepreneurial Theory of Firm Formation Based on Risk Aversion," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 719-48, August.
  24. Ekelund, Robert B, Jr & Hebert, Robert F, 1991. "Dupuit's Characteristics-Based Theory of Consumer Behavior and Entrepreneurship," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(1), pages 19-34.
  25. Schmitz, James A, Jr, 1989. "Imitation, Entrepreneurship, and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 721-39, June.
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