My primary academic interest is macro-entrepreneurship: the study of entrepreneurship at the regional level.* I think of entrepreneurship as the human face of economic change. So you could say that I’m interested in the connections between culture, government policy, and an economy’s ability to learn and adapt.
I found my way into this field by way of studying the Austrian School of Economics. This branch of thought emphasizes that the market is a process by which we discover better ways of dealing with the perennial problem of scarcity. It might be more accurate to say that the market is a process by which we discover which ways of dealing with scarcity are flawed. There’s a useful analogy here: market discovery is similar to scientific discovery. Both involve competition (science calls it “debate”) and cooperation, and both involve pushing back the borders of ignorance.
More recently I have been captivated with the idea of complexity theory. This branch of thought examines systems comprised of relatively simple parts that interact in complex ways. Economics and evolutionary ecology have a lot to learn from each other (I’ve heard that Darwin got evolution from the economist rev. Malthus), and complexity theory is able to offer a way of looking at both that is richer and more intuitive (if messier) than traditional mathematical modelling. As I learn more about complexity economics I hope to bring its tools into the study of macro-entrepreneurship and push both fields forward.
* As opposed to micro-entrepreneurship which is the study of entrepreneurship at the individual level. Macro-entrepreneurship (more commonly referred to simply as “entrepreneurship”) primarily asks questions about the connection between entrepreneurial activity (things like starting, running, and growing businesses), economic outcomes, and things like culture or government policy that vary between regions. Micro-entrepreneurship (more commonly referred to simply as “entrepreneurship”) asks questions about entrepreneurs: What makes them tick? Where do they come from? Are they crazy?