On Kirzner’s “Competition & Entrepreneurship”

No doubt, Kirzner is an excellent thinker. However, I do get a feeling that his theory of entrepreneurship is somewhat limited. As an Austrian economist, I do not understand why he necessarily limits entrepreneurial action to decisions following alertness to opportunities. It seems his market process consists of these decisions – but that the decisions are instantaneous. In this regard, Dr. Kirzner seems to escape the effects of time; after all, a decision is not what makes entrepreneurial profit – it is the decision followed by action. Also, since a decision and the carrying out of the action cannot happen instantaneously, there is a possibility for making errors (losses) through bad estimation/judgment or simply because one has limited knowledge of the future.

In my mind it would make more sense to include e.g. the Knightian process view of entrepreneurial action; with it, the Kirznerian approach would seem much more complete. Actually, since Austrian economics regards time so highly an entrepreneurial process (rather than instantaneous decision-actions) would make Kirzner’s approach “more Austrian” in a sense.