Self-employment and trade shock mitigation

Jiaochen Liang, Stephan J. Goetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


This paper investigates the moderating effects of entrepreneurial activity on the impact of trade penetration. Entrepreneurs may help to mitigate adverse trade shocks through several mechanisms, i.e., more flexible output structure, diversified economic portfolio, and higher knowledge spillovers from trade-induced R&D activities. Our empirical work embeds the analysis of entrepreneurship, measured using self-employment rates, into a framework of international trade and local labor markets. The empirical results show that the marginal impacts of Chinese import penetration on job losses are dampened in localities with higher self-employment rates, which suggests self-employment or entrepreneurial activities can mitigate the adverse impacts of trade penetration from low-income countries. Our study provides a novel perspective on entrepreneurs’ benefits on economic well-being: Besides their direct contribution to economic growth documented in earlier research, they can also enhance the resilience of a local economy in the face of external shocks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-56
Number of pages12
JournalSmall Business Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Economics and Econometrics


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