Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Research Institute of Industrial Economics

No 1441: To Be or Not to Be: The Entrepreneur in Neo-Schumpeterian Growth Theory

Magnus Henrekson (), Dan Johansson () and Johan Karlsson ()
Additional contact information
Magnus Henrekson: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
Dan Johansson: Örebro University School of Business, Postal: Örebro, Sweden
Johan Karlsson: Centre for Family Entrepreneurship and Ownership (CeFEO), Postal: Jönköping International , Business School, Jönköping, Sweden

Abstract: Based on a review of 700+ peer-reviewed articles since 1990, identified using text mining methodology and supervised machine learning, we analyze how neo-Schumpeterian growth theorists relate to the entrepreneur-centered view of Schumpeter (1934) and the entrepreneurless framework of Schumpeter (1942). The literature leans heavily towards Schumpeter (1942); innovation returns are modeled as following an ex ante known probability distribution. By assuming that innovation outcomes are (probabilistically) deterministic, the entrepreneur becomes redundant. Abstracting from genuine uncertainty implies that central issues regarding the economic function of the entrepreneur are overlooked, such as the roles of proprietary resources, skills, and profits.

Keywords: Creative destruction; Economic growth; Entrepreneur; Innovation; Judgment; Knightian uncertainty

JEL-codes: B40; O10; O30

Language: English

47 pages, October 1, 2022

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