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Entrepreneurship in International Trade

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  • Rauch, J E
  • Watson, Joel

Abstract

Motivated by evidence on the importance of incomplete information and networks in international trade, we investigate the supply of "network intermediation." We hypothesize that the agents who become international trade intermediaries first accumulate networks of foreign contacts while working as employees in production or sales, then become entrepreneurs who sell access to and use of the networks they accumulated. We report supportive results regarding this hypothesis from a pilot survey of international trade intermediaries. We then build a simple general-equilibrium model of this type of entrepreneurship, and use it for comparative statics and welfare analysis. One welfare conclusion is that intermediaries may have inadequate incentives to maintain or expand their networks, suggesting a rationale for the policies followed by some countries to encourage large-scale trading companies that imitate the Japanese sogo shosha.

Suggested Citation

  • Rauch, J E & Watson, Joel, 2001. "Entrepreneurship in International Trade," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt1qx2x540, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsdec:qt1qx2x540
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Portes, Richard & Rey, Helene, 2005. "The determinants of cross-border equity flows," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 269-296, March.
    2. Rhee, Yung Whee, 1990. "The catalyst model of development: Lessons from Bangladesh's success with garment exports," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 333-346, February.
    3. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 7-35.
    4. Arthur J. Hosios, 1990. "On The Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 279-298.
    5. Stahl, Dale O, II, 1988. "Bertrand Competition for Inputs and Walrasian Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 189-201, March.
    6. James E. Rauch, 2001. "Business and Social Networks in International Trade," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1177-1203, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Reis, Jose Guilherme & Varela, Gonzalo, 2013. "Travel channel meets discovery channel or how tourism can encourage better export performance and diversification in Nepal," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6669, The World Bank.
    2. T. Huw Edwards, 2006. "Search and the Path-Dependency of Trade," Discussion Paper Series 2006_12, Department of Economics, Loughborough University, revised May 2006.
    3. Schweinberger, A.G. & Woodland, A.D., 2015. "Entrepreneurship and conflict generating product price changes," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 158-174.
    4. Hausmann, Ricardo & Rodrik, Dani, 2003. "Economic development as self-discovery," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 603-633, December.
    5. Feenstra Robert C & Hanson Gordon H. & Lin Songhua, 2004. "The Value of Information in International Trade: Gains to Outsourcing through Hong Kong," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-37, August.
    6. Reis, José Guilherme & Varela, Gonzalo, 2013. "Can Tourism Encourage Better Export Performance and Diversification in Nepal?," World Bank - Economic Premise, The World Bank, issue 127, pages 1-6, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    international trade; network intermediation;

    JEL classification:

    • F20 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - General
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts

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