Economics textbooks continue to ignore entrepreneurship….

Interesting paper by Dan Johansson and Arvid Malm.

Coverage of entrepreneurship is rare in textbooks and articles that are used in core doctoral courses in economics. When used, the concept is generally not given a clear definition that is grounded in established definitions, such as the entrepreneur’s role in creatively introducing new combinations of factors of production (Schumpeter), discovering opportunities (Kirzner), or bearing uncertainty (Knight). We also conclude that the Schumpeterian division of the economic development process into invention and innovation is not used in core economics textbooks. While innovation is occasionally discussed, invention is not. When entrepreneurship is omitted, not differentiating between the two is logical. The entrepreneur is the link between a novel idea (invention) and its commercialization (innovation), and clarifying a distinction between these activities is difficult if the entrepreneurial function is absent. Neglect of entrepreneurship partly explains the strong emphasis on research and development as the primary determinant of
growth in growth modeling.

So, one has to look outside of the university training to understand economic development:

In response to our analysis it might be argued that textbooks in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and industrial organization are not the occasion for
rich learning about economic processes that lie outside of the optimizing-agent approach. But we have also examined assigned articles, and again mention of entrepreneurship is scant.

In their quest for economic insight, doctoral students interested in the causes of economic development may look beyond their university training. A little
entrepreneurship can make a world of difference.

Critiques of current economic teaching say that anything that eventually matters to economic development is neither part of any textbook or teaching..


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