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Entrepreneurial spirit can help communities better withstand trade shock

Posted: November 2, 2015

Communities with more self-employed workers can better withstand economic shifts caused by imports than communities that have fewer self-employed people, according to Penn State economists. In a study of how recent Chinese imports affected the U.S. labor force, the researchers found that counties with higher rates of self-employment suffered fewer negative effects, such as reduced job growth, from increased imports than counties with lower self-employment rates, said Stephan Goetz, professor of agricultural and regional economics, Penn State and director of the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development.