The Theory of the Entrepreneur, Its Evolution and Its Contextualization

By Sophie Boutillier, André Tiran

Few economists have considered that the entrepreneur is at the center of the global dynamics of capitalism, which is more important than the economic actor itself. Nevertheless, three economists, Cantillon, Say, and Schumpeter, have developed an analysis where the entrepreneur is the main economic engine of the global process of capital accumulation. In their analysis, the entrepreneur is not an individual, but an economic function which represents a systemic link between socioeconomic structures of capitalism and entrepreneurial motivations (profit, challenge, social recognition, innovation, etc.), which makes it possible to understand their decisions and to analyze their consequences on the business cycles. From these historical foundations of the economic analysis of entrepreneurship, other economists have developed their analysis according to the economic and social problems (innovation, unemployment, employment, etc.) of their time.JEL Codes: B00


  • entrepreneur
  • capitalism
  • individual
  • structures
  • history
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