The Review of Austrian Economics

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 233–247 | Cite as

Entrepreneurship, and the entrepreneurial market process: Israel M. Kirzner and the two levels of analysis in spontaneous order studies

  • Peter J. BoettkeEmail author


The science of economics is born out of the puzzle that the coordination of economic activities presents to our imagination. The solution to that puzzle is the entrepreneurial market process. Israel Kirzner has argued that the market economy operates with ruthless efficiency to coordinate economic activities and realize the gains from social cooperation under the division of labor because of the institutional framework within which it operates, namely private property rights. Kirzner, however, is suspicious of economic analysis that doesn't limit its analysis to an examination of processes within that framework, but instead attempts to apply that analysis to the evolution of the framework itself. These are the two-levels of analysis in spontaneous order studies. This paper presents Kirzner's arguments for maintaining a strict dichotomy between the levels of analysis, and then challenges his argument with a discussion of the positive political economy of endogenous rule formation.


Market process Entrepreneur Spontaneous order 

JEL classifications

B31 B53 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA

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