Foundations and Trends® in Entrepreneurship > Vol 2 > Issue 4

Historical Perspectives on the Entrepreneur

Robert F. Hébert, Russell Professor of Economics, Emeritus, Auburn University, USA, rfhebert@cox.net Albert N. Link, Professor of Economics, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA, anlink@uncg.edu
 
Suggested Citation
Robert F. Hébert and Albert N. Link (2007), "Historical Perspectives on the Entrepreneur", Foundations and Trends® in Entrepreneurship: Vol. 2: No. 4, pp 261-408. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/0300000008

Published: 22 Feb 2007
© 2006 R. F. Hébert and A. N. Link
 
Subjects
Business formation
 
Keywords
EntrepreneurshipSchumpeterian economics
 

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In this article:
1 Introduction
2 The Prehistory of Entrepreneurship
3 Early French Contributions
4 The English School of Thought
5 The German Tradition
6 Early Neoclassical Perspectives
7 The View from America
8 Joseph Schumpeter
9 Beyond Schumpeter
10 The Entrepreneur and the Firm
11 Conclusion
References

Abstract

This survey establishes a chronological trace of the entrepreneur as treated in economic literature in order to give a more wholesome perspective to contemporary writings and teachings on entrepreneurship. The authors review the historical nature and role of the entrepreneur as revealed in economic literature from the 18th century to the present. This survey shows the ambiguous nature of a concept that, due to Schumpeter's dominant influence, has come to occupy a primary role in the theory of economic development. In addition, there are other conceptions of entrepreneurship presented besides Schumpeter's. This historical survey also illustrates the tension that often exists between "theory" and "practice." We shall learn that it has been difficult for economic theory to assimilate a core concept that plays a vital role in social and economic change. Finally, the authors expose the many different facets of entrepreneurship as they have been perceived by some of the great economists throughout the ages.

DOI:10.1561/0300000008
ISBN: 978-1-933019-44-4
140 pp. $90.00
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ISBN: 978-1-933019-90-1
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Table of contents:
Introduction
The Prehistory of Entrepreneurship
Early French Contributions
The English School of Thought
The German Tradition
Early Neoclassical Perspectives
The View from America
Joseph Schumpeter
Beyond Schumpeter
The Entrepreneur and the Firm
Conclusion
References

Historical Perspectives on the Entrepreneur

Historical Perspectives on the Entrepreneur preserves a vital historical perspective by chronologically tracing the entrepreneur in the economic literature to give a complete perspective to contemporary writings and teachings on entrepreneurship. It reviews the historical nature and role of the entrepreneur as described and analyzed in economic literature from the eighteenth century to the present. Historical Perspectives on the Entrepreneur shows how Joseph Schumpeter changed the ambiguous nature of a concept of the entrepreneur to that which now occupies a primary role in the theory of economic development. It also examines other conceptions of entrepreneurship besides Schumpeter's including the many different facets of entrepreneurship as they have been perceived by some of the great economists throughout the ages. Finally, it illustrates the tension that often exists between "theory" and "practice." Historical Perspectives on the Entrepreneur should be required reading for all students of economics and those interested in entrepreneurship practice.

 
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