Working Paper No. 766

Entrepreneurship and Second-best Institutions: Going Beyond Baumol’s Typology

Published: September 23, 2008, revised October and November 2008, August 2009, January and March 2010Pages: 19Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Innovation; InstitutionsJEL-codes: L50; M13; O31; O17

Entrepreneurship and Second-best Institutions: Going Beyond Baumol’s Typology Robin Douhan and Magnus Henrekson

This paper reconsiders the predominant typology pioneered by Baumol (1990) among productive, unproductive and destructive entrepreneurship. It is shown that the foundation of Baumol’s classificatory scheme is the restrictive concept of first-best outcomes, and therefore easily fails to appreciate the true impact of entrepreneurship in real world circumstances characterized by suboptimal institutions. We present an alternative way of generalizing the notion of entrepreneurship and show how and why it encompasses the Baumol typology as a special case. Our main distinction is between business and institutional entrepreneurship. We draw on Schumpeter and introduce the entrepreneur in an additional function: as a potential disturber of an institutional equilibrium. Various subsets of institutional entrepreneurship are posited and discussed. It is shown that changing the workings of institutions constitutes an important set of entrepreneurial profit opportunities. An implication of this is that entrepreneurial efforts to reform or offset inefficient institutions can in some cases be welfare-improving.

Magnus Henrekson


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Sick of Inequality?

An Introduction to the Relationship between Inequality and Health

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In this book Andreas Bergh, Therese Nilsson, IFN and Lund University, and Daniel Waldenström, IFN and Paris School of Economics, France, review the latest research on the relationship between inequality and health. What does inequality mean for our health? Does increasing income inequality affect outcomes such as obesity, life expectancy and subjective well-being?


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