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Knight, Frank H. (1885–1972)

Frank Hyneman Knight was born in McLean County, Illinois, and was educated at small denominational colleges in Tennessee. Knight received a BS and an MA from the University of Tennessee in 1913, before going on to Cornell University to pursue a PhD in philosophy. After being rebuffed by the philosophy faculty, Knight enrolled in the department of economics, where he completed his doctoral dissertation titled “A Theory of Business Profit” in 1916. Published with significant revisions under the title Risk, Uncertainty and Profit (1921), this work develops the crucial distinction between rent, or the legitimate and predictable return on a business share, on the one hand, and profit, which is the product of entrepreneurial risk-taking in an environment of uncertainty, on the other hand. Although ...

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