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Discovery and the Capitalist Process Hardcover – December, 1985

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr (Tx) (December 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226437779
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226437774
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,069,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D. W. MacKenzie on August 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Discovery and the Capitalist Process is, in my opinion, Kirzner's best book. Like his other books, it is clear, concise, and insightful. It is also one of his more original works. Kirzner has done much to develop the theory of entrepreneurship. Building upon the work of Mises and Hayek, Kirzner demonstrates the importance of entrepreneurial alertness to profit opportunities.

Chapter two is especially good. Prices are information and competition is a discovery procedure. Entrepreneurship is not a conventional resource. Entrepreneurial vision is not a stock available to society, it "emerges at the precise moment that a decision is made". Free entry to markets places pressure on market participants to discover previously unnoticed opportunities. These points are not radically different from the arguments of Mises and Hayek, but are instead a refined version.

Chapters five and six are the most original in this book. Of great interest are Kirzner's discussions of undiscovered, un-simulated, and stifled discovery processes. Here Kirzner is really breaking new and important ground. Kirzner also has a good discussion of the socialist calculation debate.

Kirzner's work is generally underappreciated by the economics profession, and Discovery and the Capitalist Process is perhaps his best and least appreciated work. This book is out of print and not always easy to find, but it is worth the effort. Hopefully it will be reprinted soon.
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