The Capitalist & The Entrepreneur: Essays on Organizations and Markets

Cite this Article
Joshua D. Wright, The Capitalist & The Entrepreneur: Essays on Organizations and Markets, Truth on the Market (May 21, 2010),

I purchased my copy of Peter Klein’s latest —  The Capitalist & The Entrepreneur: Essays on Organizations and Markets — today.  It is available for purchase here and here.  And if you wont to sneak a peak, you can see the full version here.  The role of the entrepreneur is one of the more under-theorized subjects in economics and, in turn, law and economics.  Peter is an insightful and thoughtful economist with the right toolkit to bring to bear on this project.  He is one of my favorite thinkers about these subjects (he is also my second favorite Klein, no small compliment in these quarters).   I’m greatly looking forward to the book.   The description follows:

Entrepreneurship is a hot topic in academic, managerial, and policy circles. Yet researchers and policymakers tend to define entrepreneurship narrowly as business start-ups, and entrepreneurs as young dreamers with a particular personality.  In fact, as Peter G. Klein argues, entrepreneurship is a far broader, pervasive, and more important phenomenon in the market and in the free society.  Klein is one of the stars of the Austrian School today, with a specialization in an area in which the Austrians make a unique contribution: the entrepreneur’s role society as the driving force of the market. The last major work on this topic appeared in 1973 with Kirzner’s own book on entrepreneurship. Klein’s own book, as Peter Lewin has written, offers “a fresh, immensely revealing perspective.”

In Capitalists and Entrepreneurs, Klein rehabilitates and expands the classical concept of the entrepreneur as a judgmental decision-maker, linking the capitalist-investor and the entrepreneur-promoter. Building on foundations laid by the Austrian school of economics, Frank Knight’s theory of uncertainty, and the modern economics of organization, Klein shows how an entrepreneurial perspective sheds light on firm size and structure, corporate governance and control, mergers and acquisitions, organizational design, and a host of managerial and financial problems.

He also offers a reinterpretation of the modern Austrian school and a critique of the “opportunity-discovery” perspective in modern entrepreneurship studies. In a series of shorter essays he tackles the economics of the Internet, network theory, the socialism of the intellectual class, the financial crisis, and the contributions of Carl Menger, F. A. Hayek, and Oliver Williamson.