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Department of Political Science


This thesis is a criticism of the "entrepreneurial school" of economic development, which contends that a major cause of underdevelopment in the Third World is the poor "entrepreneurial spirit" in these areas. The entrepreneurial spirit consists of certain values and behaviour which it is presumed existed in the West at the time of its development. To test the validity of this theory empirical evidence on entrepreneurs is examined; this evidence includes historical data on the West, especially the United States and France, and twenty-one area studies of entrepreneurs in the Third World. The evidence suggests that there is little difference between the values and behaviour of entrepreneurs in the two areas. It is concluded that what differences do exist in entrepreneurship in the two areas are not caused by differences in "spirit" but by structural economic factors and by differences in the stage of capitalist development reached in each area.