The Marginal Utility of the Entrepreneur

By Sophie Boutillier

Economists often praise entrepreneurs who challenge market routines and give life to capitalism. However, somewhat paradoxically (or is it?), the entrepreneur holds a marginal place in historical approaches to explaining economic progress. Is the entrepreneur a deus ex machina who is introduced when economists do not know how (or do not want) to reveal the origins of the dynamics of social change? The fact remains that the entrepreneur is able to draw benefits from opportunities deriving from market imperfections. The entrepreneur thus becomes wealthier by tapping into activities left untapped by the immense mechanism of the commercialized socialization of the economy. The gap through which this social agent emerges is created by the process of deconcentration of large enterprises and by the drive by the State toward flexible employment and the privatization of public services.


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