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Do Entrepreneurial Attitudes Explain the Rising International Business Orientation in Developing and Emerging Economies?

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This paper examines the characteristics that relate to a country’s entrepreneurial attitudes, perceptions, intentions, and aspirations for 17 developing and emerging economies during the 2002-2016 period. Many of those countries have recorded high economic growth rates and have increasingly become more outward-oriented in terms of both, exporting activities as well as direct investments abroad. The empirical analysis is based on survey data from the Adult Population Survey of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) project. We create an overall entrepreneurial attitude index (taking values between 0 and 100) from 6 underlying GEM entrepreneurial attitude indicators. In addition to examining relevant cross-country patterns and trends, a statistical analysis is conducted to test whether a more positive entrepreneurial attitude in a country is associated with a higher international business orientation. The findings indicate that there has been an increase in the overall entrepreneurial attitude index on average, but there are different trends among countries. Most importantly, the results show that improved entrepreneurial attitudes do not explain the increasing international business orientation that has been observed during the sample period. This suggests that in the developing and emerging economies under study other factors were strongly driving the expansion of international business activities.