A History of Entrepreneurship: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

A History of Entrepreneurship

1st Edition

By Robert F Hébert, Albert N. Link


124 pages

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This book establishes a chronological trace of the entrepreneur as treated in economic literature in order to give a more wholesome perspective to contemporary writings and teachings on entrepreneurship. It focuses on the nature and role of the entrepreneur, and of entrepreneurship, as revealed in economic literature as early as the eighteenth century, when Richard Cantillon first coined the term 'entrepreneur'. The authors then trace how Joseph Schumpeter's perspective, among other’s, on entrepreneurship came to dominate the world's understanding of the term.

Due to Schumpeter’s dominant influence, entrepreneurship has come to occupy a primary role in the theory of economic development. In this book Hébert and Link discuss various key topics including the German Tradition, the Austrian and the English School of thought as well as individuals such as Alfred Marshall and Jeremy Bentham. The historical survey also illustrates the tension that often exists between "theory" and "practice" and how it has been difficult for economic theory to assimilate a core concept that plays a vital role in social and economic change. Finally, the book exposes the many different facets of entrepreneurship as they have been perceived by some of the great economists throughout the ages.


'Seldom has been so much knowledge compressed between two hard covers and that too on a subject of vast significance.' -- Dwijendra Tripathi, The Journal of Entrepreneurship

'This book goes to the heart of theorizing about entrepreneurship. The authors are well-established scholars of the economics of entrepreneurship and have written a comprehensive treatise covering all the available works in English, French and German going back a couple of centuries.' -- International Journal of Business and Social Science

'Highly recommended' - CHOICE

Table of Contents


1. The Prehistory of Entrepreneurship

2. Early French Contributions

3. The English School of Thought

4. The German Tradition

5. Early Neoclassical Perspectives

6. The View From America

7. Joseph Schumpeter

8. Beyond Schumpeter

9. The Entrepreneur and the Firm

10. Conclusion

About the Authors

Robert F. Hébert is Russell Professor of Economics, Emeritus, at Auburn University, USA.

Albert N. Link is Professor of Economics at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in the History of Economics

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economic History
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Entrepreneurship
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / General
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Corporate & Business History