Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Research Institute of Industrial Economics

No 1410: Entrepreneurial Accessibility, Eudaimonic Well-Being, and Inequality

Christopher J. Boudreaux (), Niklas Elert (), Magnus Henrekson () and David S. Lucas ()
Additional contact information
Christopher J. Boudreaux: Florida Atlantic University, United States
Niklas Elert: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
Magnus Henrekson: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
David S. Lucas: Syracuse University, United States

Abstract: Amidst considerable debate on the relationship between entrepreneurship and economic inequality, scholarship only indirectly addresses how entrepreneurship informs individuals’ relative well-being. We theorize on the nuanced relationship between entrepreneurship and equality of eudaimonic well-being through the lens of New Institutional Economics. Drawing on theories of human flourishing, we suggest that entrepreneurial action is an underappreciated mechanism by which individuals pursue well-being. Equality of well-being is thus influenced by a society’s entrepreneurial accessibility: the freedom of individuals to choose to engage in entrepreneurial action. We present a multilevel framework in which institutional factors enable entrepreneurial action by promoting entrepreneurial accessibility—a factor, that, in turn, affects well-being for individual entrepreneurs as well as societal eudaimonic equality. The ex ante conditions for equality of well-being entail institutions that yield broad entrepreneurial accessibility. Our work highlights the institutional prerequisites for human flourishing in the entrepreneurial society beyond (unequal) economic distributions.

Keywords: Inequality; Entrepreneurship; Well-being; Institutions; Eudaimonia

JEL-codes: D31; D63; I30; L26; O43

29 pages, October 13, 2021

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