Why Did Cantillon Change the Meaning of Entrepreneurship?


  • Mark Thornton Mises Institute, Alburn, AL, United States




Richard Cantillon, Entrepreneurship, History of Economic Thought, history


In breaking with the policy regime of mercantilism, Richard Cantillon put forth a manuscript in 1730, wherein he produced the first treatise of economic theory. Key to this development was his new theory of entrepreneurship which allowed him to construct economic theories and concepts. Recent research has shown that he did not coin the term, but rather radically changed the meaning of an existing term, to its near opposite. This paper explores why he changed the meaning of the entrepreneur. The speculative answer is both theoretical and based on his life experience.


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Author Biography

Mark Thornton, Mises Institute, Alburn, AL, United States

Mark Thornton is Senior Fellow at the Mises Institute. He serves as the Book Review Editor for the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. He has published 7 books and dozens of journal articles, chapters, and essays. He is on the editorial boards of seven Austro-libertarians journals.


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How to Cite

Thornton M. Why Did Cantillon Change the Meaning of Entrepreneurship?. MisesJournal [Internet]. 2019 Nov. 7 [cited 2024 Jul. 17];7(3). Available from: https://www.misesjournal.org.br/misesjournal/article/view/1241



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