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

  • Gene M. Grossman

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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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w1174.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1174.

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Date of creation: Aug 1983
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Publication status: published as Grossman, Gene M. "International Trade, Foreign Investment, and the Formation of the Entrepreneurial Class." American Economic Review, Vol. 74, No. 4, (September 1984), pp. 605-614.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1174
Note: ITI IFM
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  1. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1969. "Behavior Towards Risk with Many Commodities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(4), pages 660-67, October.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  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. Newbery, David M, 1989. "The Theory of Food Price Stabilisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(398), pages 1065-82, December.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
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