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Landes, David S. and Joel Mokyur, William Baumol - eds.

Subtitle: Entrepreneurship from Ancient Mesopotamia to Modern Times, Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, 2010, 566 pgs., index, each essay has its own reference notes.


Reviewer comment: In these essays the readers will learn a great deal new about the actual role of entrepreneurs in many times and places. The book is important because it is based on extensive newer archeology and source study than supported the misunderstandings of authors (even such as Adam Smith) prior to last 50 years. It dispells what can now only be termed myths common in establishment theories. In addition one will learn about the financial methods upon which commerce and markets were based - the role of credit as money as well as the use of currency Each essay has extensive footnotes and bibliography.


-The editors write: "The importance of history to understanding entrepreneurship cannot be under estimated. Through history, we see the power, the resilience, and the complexity of this phenomenon." And, "We understand the tensions etween peroductive entrepreneurship that enhances the growth of the economh and nproductive entrepreneural activity that exploits opportunities for personal gain.


Preface - "The Entreprerneur in History" William J. Baumol

- "The Central Objective of the Book"
"It was written to investigate seveal hypothesis that are of considerable importance for the general welfare of society, hypotheses that, unfortunately, resist testing by standard procedures such as statistical analysis or controlled experiment."
"In brief, the first hypothesis asserts that the practical utilization of inventions and their indispensable contribution to economic growth (at the very least, the rate of such growth and hence the level of per capita income) will be well below the levels they might otherwise have achieved without the intervention of entrepreneurs."
"The second hypothesis goes in a direction rather different from the first. It assets that entrepreneural activities are not always productive and growth enhancing. Indeed, they may sometimes sabotage growth and prosperity. "
"The third hypothesis is that the direction taken by entrepreneural activity depends heavily, at any particular time and in any particular society, on the prevailing institutional arrangemens and the relative payoffs they offer to entrepreneural activities that promote growth and those that do not, or those that even handicap it."

"Fundamental Differences among Enterprising activities: The Hypotheses"

"We consider individuals to be engaged in enterprising activities if they devote their own independent efforts to the acquisition of wealth, power, and prestige." This is very significant statement because it indicates the presumption that there is one unified objective and process - in other words; political, economic, and social together and inerchangable. This is the opposite of the academic split into study of economics, politics, and sociology without reference to each other so standard and detrmental today.

"It seems clear that two primary avenues have been followed in this undertaking. which we label, for convenience, redistributive enrepreneurship and productive entrepreneurship." The first includes warfare and crime and also socially accepted welfare. The second includes individual effort to add, create, something new or more to the social wealth. Prior to modern times the first was generally viewed favorably while the second was usually disdained. The author cites Douglas North's theory of the central role of institutions in establishing the relative value afforded each form, redistributive and productive. The idea is that the relative increase in favor of productive entrepreneurs was a cause of the sudden, rapid growth with the appearance of capitalism. This theory is strongly opposed by Dr. McCloskey in her books on bourgeois role.

"But Why a Historical Approach?"
So far there has not been statistical analysis or resulting "broad hypotheses about the fundamentals of innovative entrepreneural behavior and their consequences." The author continues to describe why the 'optimality analysis that underlies most microeconomic theory' is lacking. In other words, academic economics cannot address what history can.

"Some Observations that Emerge" The point made here is that the authors hope to provide useful information not only for readers but also for government policy makers. And the author's basic theory will stress the role of institutions.


- Global Enterprise and Industrial Performance: An Overview - David Landes


Chapter 1
- Entrepreneurs: From the Near Eastern Takeoff to the Roman Collapse -Michael Hudson


Chapter 2
- Neo-Babylonian Entrepreneurs - Cornelia Wunsch
- very revealing about how finances were organized for business - credit


Chapter 3
- The Scale of Enrepreneurship in Middle Eastern History: Inhibitive Roles of Islamic Institutions - Timur Kuran


Chapter 4
- Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship in Medieval Europe- James M. Murray
There was much more economic activity that is usually described in school texts


Chapter 5
- Tawny's Century, 1540 - 1640: The Roots of Modern Capitalist Entrepreneurship - John Munro
- especially importnt information related to McCloskey's theories


Chapter 6
- The Golden Age of the Dutch Republic - Oscar Gelderblom
- More information related to McCloskey's theories


Chapter 7
- Entrepreneurship and the Industrial Revolution in Britian - Joel Mokyr
- Also directly related


Chapter 8
- Entrepreneurship in Britain, 1830 - 1900- Mark Casson and Andrew Godley


Chapter 9
- History of Entrepreneurship: Britain, 1900 - 2000 - Andrew Godlely and Mark Casson


Chapter 10
- History of Entrepreneurship: Germany after 1815- Ulrich Wengenroth


Chapter 11
- Entrepreneurship in France - Michael Hau


Chapter 12
- Entrepreneurship in the Antebellum United States - Louis P. Cain


Chapter 13
- Enrepreneurship in the United States, 1865 -1920 - Naomi R. Lamoreaux


Chapter 14
- Entrepreneurship in he United States, 1920 -2000 - Margaret B. W. Graham


Chapter 15
- An Examination of the Supply of Financial Credit to Entrepreneurs in Colonial India - Susan Wolcott


Chapter 16
- Chinese Entrepreneurship since the Late Imperial Period - Wellington K. K. Chan
- another essay relalted to McCloskey theory


Chapter 17
- Entrepreneurship in the pre-World War II Japan: The Role and Logic of the Zaibatsu - Seiichiro Yonekura and Hiroshi Shimizu


Chapter 18
- "Useful Knowledge" or Entrepreneurship: Some Implications of the History - William J. Baumol and Robert J. Strom


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