Liberty Matters

Closing Thoughts

I’ve really enjoyed this exchange and am grateful to Pete, Mario, and Fred for their comments and responses.
I often get asked by students, practitioners, or journalists, “What is the Austrian theory of X?” In most cases, there isn’t one -- that is, there is no single Austrian approach to a given topic. The Austrian tradition includes a rich variety of theories, models, and perspectives on key concepts, mechanisms, and phenomena.
As I hope this discussion has made clear, the same applies to competition and entrepreneurship. Kirzner has made important influential contributions to the modern Austrian literature on prices, markets, capital, and entrepreneurship. But while Kirzner draws on the powerful insights of Menger, Mises, Hayek, and others, his approach to the market process is his own. Kirzner’s theory of entrepreneurship ranks with Knight’s and Schumpeter’s as foundational to contemporary entrepreneurship research. But Kirzner’s theory is not “the” Austrian theory of entrepreneurship or “the” Austrian account of the competitive market process. In the spirit of Kirzner’s own careful scholarship, we should continue to explore and appreciate a diversity of approaches within the Austrian tradition.