Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurship Policy
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Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurship Policy

Edited by David B. Audretsch, Isabel Grilo and A. Roy Thurik

This unique Handbook provides a solid foundation for essential study in the nascent field of entrepreneurship policy research. This foundation is initially developed via the exploration of two significant propositions underpinning the nature of entrepreneurship policy research. The first is that entrepreneurship has emerged as a bona fide focus of public policy, particularly with respect to economic growth and employment creation. The second is that neither scholars nor policy makers are presently equipped to understand the public policy role for entrepreneurship.
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Chapter 7: Public Policy and Entrepreneurship

Albert N. Link


* Albert N. Link Introduction Hébert and Link’s (1988, 1989) studies of the history of economic thought on the evolution of the concept of the entrepreneur concluded with the following synthesis (1988, p. 155): [The entrepreneur is] someone who specializes in taking responsibility for and making judgemental decisions that affect the location, the form, and the use of goods, resources, or institutions. This perception and subsequent action, in a dynamic or multi-period context, is entrepreneurship. The Hébert and Link synthesis incorporates the ideas of risk, uncertainty, innovation, perception and change. Stated alternatively, the entrepreneur has differentiated abilities that allow him or her, within an environment of risk and uncertainty, to perceive opportunities and have the ability to act on them. In a sense, then, the entrepreneur may be said to ‘perceive what normal people of lesser alertness and perceptiveness, would fail to notice’ (Machlup, 1980, p. 179), and, in a dynamic context, ‘creative and imaginative action [will] shape the kind of transactions that will be entered into in future market periods’ (Kirzner, 1985, pp. 63–4). Can public policy enrich environments in which individuals grasp knowledge that might otherwise go unexploited? In this chapter I argue that the answer to this question is definitely, ‘yes’, especially as related to innovation. There are a number of public policies in the United States that, to varying degrees, provide resources that extend opportunities for perception and action, especially as related to innovative behavior. These include, but certainly are not...

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