International Trade, Foreign Investment, and the Formation of the Entrepreneurial Class
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.
Published: 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.