Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics

Economics Doctoral Programs Still Elide Entrepreneurship

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Abstract

Is entrepreneurship covered in economics doctoral programs? Updating an earlier study (Johansson 2004), we examine leading programs in the United States and Sweden by textual analysis of textbooks and assigned articles in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and industrial organization courses. We find that coverage of entrepreneurship in textbooks is scant and that theories regarding the function of the entrepreneur are hardly mentioned in assigned articles. Talk of the entrepreneur is more common in a few newer textbooks, which could indicate a renewed interest. But even textbooks that mention the entrepreneur do not define the concept or discuss the entrepreneur’s economic role in any depth; often the entrepreneur is just another optimizing agent within a model, like a borrower, manager, or investor.