Entrepreneurial Alertness and Spontaneous Learning in the Market Process: the Case of Mama Moon in China

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Tony Fu-Lai Yu


Israel M. Kirzner’s theory of entrepreneurial alertness follows closely with Mises’ praxeology and argues that the entire role of entrepreneurs lies in their alertness to profit opportunity hitherto unnoticed in the market. In Kirzner’s subjectivist theory of knowledge, alertness to opportunity is subconscious learning. Once subconscious hunch is known, it becomes a resource (knowledge) for the entrepreneur to be utilized to exploit profit. Moreover, in Kirzner’s view, entrepreneurship means profit arbitrage and it is the continual profit exploitation in the market process that drives an economy towards a higher level of capitalist achievement. Kirzner’s theory of entrepreneurship will be illustrated by the case of Mama Moon, a female entrepreneur in tourism, catering and hotel industries in Guilin, China.

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