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Public Sector EntrepreneurshipU.S. Technology and Innovation Policy$
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Dennis Patrick Leyden and Albert N. Link

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199313853

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199313853.001.0001

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(p.27) 2 Entrepreneurship
Public Sector Entrepreneurship

Dennis Patrick Leyden

Albert N. Link

Oxford University Press

This chapter offers a historical perspective on views of the entrepreneur as both an innovator and risk-taker. The most significant early writer was Richard Cantillon, who took a supply-side perspective, arguing that the entrepreneur was a creative middleman who satisfies market demand through a willingness to embrace the risks associated with uncertainty. Despite the work of Cantillon and others, however, it was a demand-side view that came to dominate. Joseph Schumpeter in particular argued that entrepreneurs were innovators and the primary cause of economic development through a process of creative destruction; risk-taking was not a relevant characteristic. It was left to Frank Knight to develop a synthesis of these opposing views based on his distinction between risk and uncertainty and the argument that entrepreneurs necessarily act in a dynamic rather than a static environment.

Keywords:   creative destruction, entrepreneur, innovator, risk, uncertainty, Richard Cantillon, Joseph Schumpeter, Frank Knight

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