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What Makes Small Firms Grow? Finance, Human Capital, Technical Assistance, and the Business Environment in Romania

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Although the development of a new private sector is generally considered crucial to economic transition, there has been little empirical research on the determinants of start-up firm growth. This article analyzes panel data on 297 new small enterprises in Romania with detailed annual information from the start-up date through 2001. Controlling for heterogeneity with a rich set of firm characteristics and firm fixed effects, our panel regressions imply that access to external credit substantially increases both employment and sales growth. Entrepreneurial characteristics such as gender and education have weaker estimated effects. Neither technical assistance nor a wide variety of measures of the business environment (contract enforcement, property rights, and corruption) have any clear association with firm growth.

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Paper provided by W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in its series Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles with number jse20052.

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Handle: RePEc:upj:weupjo:jse20052

Note: Appears in Economic Development and Cultural Change 54(1): 33-70
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Keywords: transition economies; small firms; human capital; Romania; finance;

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  1. Ashok S. Rai & Tomas Sj–str–m, 2004. "Is Grameen Lending Efficient? Repayment Incentives and Insurance in Village Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(1), pages 217-234, 01.
  2. Hellman, Joel S. & Jones, Geraint & Kaufmann, Daniel, 2003. "Seize the state, seize the day: state capture and influence in transition economies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 751-773, December.
  3. Francesca Pissarides & Miroslav Singer & Jan Svejnar, 2000. "Objectives and constraints of entrepreneurs: evidence from small and medium-sized enterprises in Russia and Bulgaria," Working Papers 59, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Office of the Chief Economist.
  4. Schneider, Friedrich, 2002. "The Size and Development of the Shadow Economies of 22 Transition and 21 OECD Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 514, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. McMillan, John & Woodruff, Christopher, 1998. "Inter-Firm Relationships and Informal Credit in Vietnam," CEPR Discussion Papers 2036, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Bilsen, Valentijn & Konings, Jozef, 1998. "Job Creation, Job Destruction, and Growth of Newly Established, Privatized, and State-Owned Enterprises in Transition Economies: Survey Evidence from Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 429-445, September.
  7. Jonathan Morduch, 1999. "The Microfinance Promise," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1569-1614, December.
  8. J. Earle & S. Estrin & L. Leshchenko, 1996. "Ownership structures, patterns of control and enterprise behavior in Russia," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20642, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  9. Andrzej Bratkowski & Irena Grosfeld & Jacek Rostowski, 2000. "Investment and Finance in "de novo" private firms: Empirical Results from the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 8(1), pages 101-116, March.
  10. Earle, John S. & Sakova, Zuzana, 2000. "Business start-ups or disguised unemployment? Evidence on the character of self-employment from transition economies," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 575-601, September.
  11. A. Richter & M.E. Schaffer, 1996. "The Performance of De Novo Private Firms in Russian Manufacturing," CERT Discussion Papers 9610, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
  12. Ashok S. Rai & Tomas Sj�str�m, 2004. "Is Grameen Lending Efficient? Repayment Incentives and Insurance in Village Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 217-234.
  13. John McMillan & Christopher Woodruff, 2002. "The Central Role of Entrepreneurs in Transition Economies," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 153-170, Summer.
  14. Simon Johnson & John McMillan & Christopher Woodruff, 2002. "Property Rights and Finance," NBER Working Papers 8852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. J Earle & S Estrin & L Leshchenko, 1996. "Ownership Structures," CEP Discussion Papers dp0315, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  16. Bruce D. Meyer, 1994. "Natural and Quasi- Experiments in Economics," NBER Technical Working Papers 0170, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Abiola Babajide Ph.D, 2012. "Effects of Microfinance on Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) Growth in Nigeria," Asian Economic and Financial Review, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 2(3), pages 463-477, July.
  2. Moog, Petra & Kay, Rosemarie & Schlömer-Laufen, Nadine & Schlepphorst, Susanne, 2012. "Unternehmensnachfolgen in Deutschland: Aktuelle Trends," IfM-Materialien 216, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) Bonn.
  3. Nuria Rodriguez-Planas†, 2007. "What Works Best For Getting The Unemployed Back To Work: Employment Services Or Small-Business Assistance Programmes? Evidence From Romania," Working Papers 2007-32, FEDEA.
  4. Bah, El-hadj & Brada, Josef C. & Yigit, Taner, 2011. "With a little help from our friends: The effect of USAID assistance on SME growth in a transition economy," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 205-220, June.
  5. Toledo, Arcelia & Hernández, José de la Paz & Griffin, Denis, 2010. "Incentives and the growth of Oaxacan subsistence businesses," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 63(6), pages 630-638, June.
  6. Jahangir Aziz & Li Cui, 2007. "Explaining China's Low Consumption: The Neglected Role of Household Income," IMF Working Papers 07/181, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Brown, J. David & Earle, John S., 2006. "The microeconomics of creating productive jobs : a synthesis of firm-level studies in transition economies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3886, The World Bank.
  8. Wolter, Hans-Jürgen, 2010. "Informationsasymmetrien in der familienexternen Nachfolge und ihre Überwindung," IfM-Materialien 191, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) Bonn.
  9. Nofsinger, John R. & Wang, Weicheng, 2011. "Determinants of start-up firm external financing worldwide," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 2282-2294, September.

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