It is proposed to discuss in this paper the role of the distribution of wealth in a system of capitalist enterprise and profit. At the outset it is necessary to give a brief summary of the principle of increasing risk.2 The most important consequence of this principle is that the entrepreneur’s investment (measured by his real capital — equipment and stocks) is not independent of the amount of capital which he can provide from his own resources; a wealthy entrepreneur may therefore in the same circumstances invest much more than a ‘poor’ one. It is pertinent to ask what is meant by entrepreneur and entrepreneur’s capital in this context. A fuller treatment of this question will be given in the last part; for the moment it is sufficient to say that the relevant characteristic of the entrepreneur is the unity of control, so that, for example, a number of firms controlled by the same people constitute one ‘entrepreneur’. The entrepreneurial capital, in the case of a private entrepreneur, is his private capital, in the case of a joint stock company it may be regarded for our present purposes as the sum of ordinary share capital and capital reserves.
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