Towards an Untrepreneurial Economy? The Entrepreneurship Industry and the Rise of the Veblenian Entrepreneur
43 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2019 Last revised: 9 Jul 2020
Date Written: November 1, 2019
What is driving the declining quality of innovation-driven entrepreneurship? In this paper, we argue the growing entrepreneurship industry is an important yet overlooked explanation. This rapidly growing industry has transformed the nature of entrepreneurship and encouraged a particular form of low-quality entrepreneurship. It has done so by leveraging the Ideology of Entrepreneurialism to mass-produce and mass-market products that make possible what we term Veblenian Entrepreneurship. This is entrepreneurship pursued primarily as a form of conspicuous consumption. Aside from lowering average entrepreneurial quality, Veblenian Entrepreneurship has a range of (short-run) positive and (medium and long-run) negative effects for both individuals and society at large. We argue that the rise of the Veblenian Entrepreneur has contributed to creating an increasingly Untrepreneurial Economy. That is an economy which superficially appears innovation-driven and dynamic, but is actually rife with inefficiencies and unable to generate economically meaningful growth through innovation.
Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurial Quality, Entrepreneurship Industry, Veblenian Entrepreneurs, Untrepreneurship, Untrepreneurial Economy
JEL Classification: L20, L26, O38, O40, M13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation