Entrepreneurial Discovery Capital

Raymond C. Niles

Advisor: Peter J Boettke, PhD, Department of Economics

Committee Members: Richard E. Wagner, Christopher J. Coyne

Buchanan Hall, #D150
April 16, 2018, 12:00 PM to 01:30 PM


This dissertation consists of three chapters. It is motivated by some of the most complex and still largely unexplained economic phenomena: economic cycles. This includes the recurring cycle of economic boom and recession that has appeared in all capitalist countries since the Industrial Revolution, and it includes the investment “manias” or “bubbles” that often accompany these economic booms.

The first two chapters mark a theoretical investigation utilizing two schools of thought known for their work on business cycles: (1) the Austrian School and (2) the economic development theory of Joseph Schumpeter. The third chapter identifies a novel explanation for economic cycles: a type of capital called “Entrepreneurial Discovery Capital” whose purpose is the screening of viable entrepreneurial ventures.

The original contribution of this dissertation is primarily the concept of Entrepreneurial Discovery Capital. It provides a novel theoretical justification for cyclical phenomena that is Schumpeterian and Austrian in many respects, but differs in the key aspect of the causal mechanism that creates the boom and bust.