Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance,
Stockholm School of Economics

No 532: William J. Baumol: An Entrepreneurial Economist on the Economics of Entrepreneurship

Gunnar Eliasson and Magnus Henrekson ()
Additional contact information
Gunnar Eliasson: Department of Industrial Economics and Management, Postal: Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Magnus Henrekson: Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, SE-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: William J. Baumol is the 2003 winner of the International Award for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Research. Throughout his career Baumol has urged the profession to pay attention to the instrumental role of entrepreneurship in economic renewal and growth. At the same time he has insisted that economists continue to use their usual tool box when the purview of analysis is extended to entrepreneurship. Hence, Baumol can be characterized as a revolutionary from within. In this article we present and discuss Baumol’s research contribution in the areas of entrepreneurship and small business economics, notably from a growth perspective. In addition to placing his work in these areas into the wider context of his full contribution, we emphasize Baumol’s findings that growth cannot be explained by the accumulation of various factors of production per se; human creativity and productive entrepreneurship are needed to combine the inputs in profitable ways. As a result, an institutional environment that encourages productive entrepreneurship and human experimentation becomes the ultimate determinant of economic growth.

Keywords: Economic development; Entrepreneurship; Small business economics

JEL-codes: B49; B52; B53; O31

12 pages, August 25, 2003

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Published as
Gunnar Eliasson and Magnus Henrekson, (2004), 'William J. Baumol: An Entrepreneurial Economist on the Economics of Entrepreneurship', Small Business Economics, vol 23, no 1, pages 1-7

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