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Whither Goeth the Entrepreneur?

Robert F. Hébert's Ludwig von Mises Memorial Lecture given at the 2023 Austrian Economics Scholars Conference discusses the path of entrepreneurship research over the last forty years.
Robert F. Hébert
The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, Vol. 26, Issue 3, Fall 2023. November 20, 2023


This essay recounts the circumstances that provoked and influenced earlier research and publications on entrepreneurship by Hebert and Link (1982, 1988, 1989a, 1989b, 2006a, 2006b, 2009). Once a dark corner of economics, the study of entrepreneurship has enjoyed some light as the scholarship has matured, and the boundaries of entrepreneurship research have expanded. Challenges remain, however. The field still suffers from conjecture and confusion, and even the definition of entrepreneur has escaped consensus. Whatever direction future research takes, entrepreneurship must be recognized as an inherently decentralized activity: disruptive, contrarian, and incompatible with central planning.


Robert F. Hébert is Russell Foundation Professor Emeritus of Auburn University. He currently resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.