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

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  • Gene M. Grossman

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Gene M. Grossman, 1983. "International Trade, Foreign Investment, and the Formation of the Entrepreneurial Class," NBER Working Papers 1174, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1174
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    1. 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.
    2. 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 769-797, August.
    3. Kanbur, S. M., 1981. "Risk taking and taxation : An alternative perspective," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 163-184, April.
    4. Jonathan Eaton & Gene M. Grossman, 1985. "Tariffs as Insurance: Optimal Commercial Policy When Domestic Markets Are Incomplete," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 18(2), pages 258-272, May.
    5. 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 719-748, August.
    6. Newbery, David M, 1989. "The Theory of Food Price Stabilisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(398), pages 1065-1082, December.
    7. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1969. "Behavior Towards Risk with Many Commodities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(4), pages 660-667, October.
    8. 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 154-158, March.
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