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International Trade, Foreign Investment, and the Formation of the Entrepreneurial Class

  • Grossman, Gene M

In this paper, I examine the argument that free trade may be harmful to less developed countries, because such international competition inhibits the formation of a local entrepreneurial class.I view the entrepreneur as the manager of the industrial enterprise, as well as the agent who bears the risks associated with industrial production. A two-sector model of a small open economy is developed in which the size of the entrepreneurial class is endogenous.It is shown that the entrepreneurial class is smaller under free trade than would be first-best optimal in the presence of efficient risk-sharing institutions such as stock markets. Nonetheless, there are potential gains from trade, and any protectionist policy that increases the number of entrepreneurs will have deleterious welfare consequences.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 74 (1984)
Issue (Month): 4 (September)
Pages: 605-14

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:74:y:1984:i:4:p:605-14
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  1. Kanbur, S.M, 1978. "Risk Taking and Taxation : An Alternative Perspective," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 136, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  2. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1969. "Behavior Towards Risk with Many Commodities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(4), pages 660-67, October.
  3. Kihlstrom, Richard E & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1979. "A General Equilibrium Entrepreneurial Theory of Firm Formation Based on Risk Aversion," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 719-48, August.
  4. Baldwin, Robert E, 1969. "The Case against Infant-Industry Tariff Protection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(3), pages 295-305, May/June.
  5. Grossman, Gene M, 1985. "The Optimal Tariff for a Small Country under International Uncertainty: A Comment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(1), pages 154-58, March.
  6. Jonathan Eaton & Gene M. Grossman, 1981. "Tariffs as Insurance: Optimal Commercial Policy When Domestic Markets Are Incomplete," NBER Working Papers 0797, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Kanbur, S M, 1979. "Of Risk Taking and the Personal Distribution of Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 769-97, August.
  8. Newbery, David M, 1989. "The Theory of Food Price Stabilisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(398), pages 1065-82, December.
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