Breaking Out of the Kirznerian Box: A Reply to Sautet

Matthew McCaffrey*, Nicolai J. Foss, Peter G. Klein, Joseph T. Salerno

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


What is now called the judgment-based approach to entrepreneurship (JBA) has a rich pedigree in Austrian economics and continues to grow rapidly in that tradition as well as in various research fields in business and management. The JBA has also attracted some criticisms. Frédéric Sautet’s recent review essay is an example. Sautet’s main concern is that the JBA rejects Israel Kirzner’s alertness/discovery approach which, in Sautet’s view, provides a more compelling basis for theorizing. Unfortunately, we do not find Sautet’s criticisms of the JBA convincing. They frequently ignore our arguments about entrepreneurial judgment and its manifestation in the business firm, fail to address our criticisms of the alertness/discovery approach, and are rooted in a flawed understanding of the history of economic thought.
Original languageEnglish
JournalReview of Austrian Economics
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

Published online: 14 July 2021.


  • Austrian economics
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Theory of the firm
  • Judgment
  • Alertness
  • Kirzner

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