Towards an Untrepreneurial Economy? The Entrepreneurship Industry and the Rise of the Veblenian Entrepreneur

61 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2019 Last revised: 27 Apr 2021

See all articles by Rasmus Koss Hartmann

Rasmus Koss Hartmann

Copenhagen Business School

André Spicer

City University London - Sir John Cass Business School

Anders D. Krabbe

Stanford University

Date Written: November 1, 2019

Abstract

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

Hartmann, Rasmus Koss and Spicer, André and Krabbe, Anders D., Towards an Untrepreneurial Economy? The Entrepreneurship Industry and the Rise of the Veblenian Entrepreneur (November 1, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3479042 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3479042

Rasmus Koss Hartmann (Contact Author)

Copenhagen Business School ( email )

Solbjerg Plads 3
Frederiksberg C, DK - 2000
Denmark

André Spicer

City University London - Sir John Cass Business School

106 Bunhill Row
London, EC1Y 8TZ
United Kingdom

Anders D. Krabbe

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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