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The Firms Speak: What the World Business Environment Survey Tells Us about Constraints on Private Sector Development

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  • Geeta Batra

    (World Bank)

  • Daniel Kaufmann

    (World Bank)

  • Andrew H. W. Stone

    (World Bank)

Abstract

This paper, a synthesis of salient findings of the authors’ book entitled “Investment Climate Around the World: Voices of the Firms from the World Business Environment Survey”, and based on a chapter in “Pathways Out of Poverty: Private Firms and Economic Mobility in Developing Countries”, by G. Fields and G. Pfeffermann, summarizes the salient features of the World Business Environment Survey (WBES). It shows that important dimensions for the climate of business operation and investment can be measured, analyzed, and compared across countries, and that governance is key to the business environment and investment climate. The survey findings suggest that key policy, institutional and governance indicators affect the growth of a firm’s sale and investment and the extent to which firms operate in the unofficial economy. Further, the paper provides empirical support for some commonly held notions, while challenging others. It suggests a link between taxation, financing, and corruption on the one hand, and growth and investment on the other, and it highlights the costs to economies where the state is captured by a narrow set of private interests.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Microeconomics with number 0405004.

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Date of creation: 14 May 2004
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Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpmi:0405004

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Keywords: Business Environment; Survey; Business Constraints; Private Sector Development; Investment Climate; Governance; Corruption; Capture;

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References

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  1. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1994. "Politicians and Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 995-1025, November.
  2. Johnson, Simon & Kaufmann, Daniel & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1999. "Corruption, public finances, and the unofficial economy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2169, The World Bank.
  3. Simon Johnson & Daniel Kaufman & Andrei Shleifer, 1997. "The Unofficial Economy in Transition," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(2), pages 159-240.
  4. Mirjam Schiffer & Beatrice Weder, 2001. "Firm Size and the Business Environment : Worldwide Survey Results," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13988, August.
  5. Friedman, Eric & Johnson, Simon & Kaufmann, Daniel & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 2000. "Dodging the grabbing hand: the determinants of unofficial activity in 69 countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 459-493, June.
  6. Edgardo Campos, J. & Lien, Donald & Pradhan, Sanjay, 1999. "The Impact of Corruption on Investment: Predictability Matters," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 1059-1067, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Susanna Thede & Nils-Åke Gustafson, 2012. "The Multifaceted Impact of Corruption on International Trade," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(5), pages 651-666, 05.
  2. Bah, El-hadj M. & Cooper, Geoff, 2012. "Constraints to the Growth of Small Firms in Northern Myanmar," MPRA Paper 39819, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Ayyagari, Meghana & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Maksimovic, Vojislav, 2005. "How well do institutional theories explain firms'perceptions of property rights?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3709, The World Bank.
  4. D'Souza, Anna, 2012. "The OECD Anti-Bribery Convention: Changing the currents of trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 73-87.
  5. Anna D’Souza & Daniel Kaufmann, 2013. "Who bribes in public contracting and why: worldwide evidence from firms," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 333-367, November.
  6. Fawad Ahmad, 2013. "Corruption and Information Sharing as Determinants of Non-Performing Loans," Business Systems Research, Society for Promotion of Business Information Technology (BIT), vol. 4(1), pages 87-98.
  7. Stijn Claessens & Erik Feijen, 2006. "Financial Sector Development and the Millennium Development Goals," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7145, August.
  8. Beck, H.T.L. & Demirgüç-Kunt , A. & Peria, M.M, 2007. "Reaching out: Access to and use of banking services across countries," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125425, Tilburg University.
  9. Weill, Laurent, 2011. "How corruption affects bank lending in Russia," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 230-243, June.
  10. Ayyagari, Meghana & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Maksimovic, Vojislav, 2006. "How important are financing constraints ? The role of finance in the business environment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3820, The World Bank.
  11. Joseph LiPuma & Scott Newbert & Jonathan Doh, 2013. "The effect of institutional quality on firm export performance in emerging economies: a contingency model of firm age and size," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(4), pages 817-841, May.
  12. Laurent Weill, 2011. "Does corruption hamper bank lending? Macro and micro evidence," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 25-42, August.
  13. Houston, Joel F. & Lin, Chen & Ma, Yue, 2011. "Media ownership, concentration and corruption in bank lending," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 326-350, May.
  14. Capasso, Salvatore & Jappelli, Tullio, 2013. "Financial development and the underground economy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 167-178.

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