Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Entrepreneurship and Economic Theory

Khalil, Elias (2006): Entrepreneurship and Economic Theory. Forthcoming in: Handbook of Whiteheadian Process Thought (2007)

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Abstract

Let us define entrepreneurship as creativity and the evolution of novelty. Let us suppose, the main thesis of the chapter, that entrepreneurship is an action that does not differ from everyday action such as walking, driving, or chewing gum. If the definition and supposition are granted we can conclude that the theory of everyday action, such as walking or chewing gum, is one and the same as the theory of evolution. The conclusion is definitely strange if not extraordinary. It is based on a subtle but subversive thesis: There is no difference between everyday action and creativity or evolution. This conclusion is extraordinary only because it goes against the dominant dogmas in economics (i.e., neoclassical theory) and evolutionary biology (i.e., neo-Darwinian theory). Both dogmas draw a radical divide between action and evolution. For neo-Darwinian theory, action is phenotype ultimately determined by genotype—while the genotype evolves according to another mechanism. For neoclassical economics, action is determined by rational calculation of the efficient allocation of given resources—while resources evolve according to another mechanism. To undermine the radical divide between the theory of action and the theory of evolution, this chapter shows how everyday action—from walking, fetching water, to fishing—is entrepreneurial at first level of approximation—and hence should be the basis of the theory of evolution.

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