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Are Managers' Perceptions of Constraints to Growth Reliable? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in South Africa

  • Clarke George R

    (Texas A & M International University)

During the World Bank’s 2007-2008 Enterprise Survey, a major power crisis hit South Africa. Not surprisingly, this affected managers’ perceptions about electricity—the percent saying power was a serious constraint increased from 11 to 49 percent. But managers’ perceptions about other areas of the investment climate such as taxation, finance and regulation also deteriorated significantly, suggesting that managers do not compartmentalize their responses to questions about constraints. Other than for electricity, however, relative rankings did not change significantly. This suggests that policymakers using the survey to identify the main constraints would have identified similar constraints before and after the crisis.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Journal of Globalization and Development.

Volume (Year): 2 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (August)
Pages: 1-28

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:globdv:v:2:y:2011:i:1:n:3
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  1. Omar Azfar & Peter Murrell, 2005. "Identifying Reticent Respondents: Assessing the Quality of Survey Data on Corruption and Values," Electronic Working Papers 05-001, University of Maryland, Department of Economics.
  2. George Clarke & James Habyarimana & David Kaplan & Vijaya Ramachandran, 2008. "Why isn't South Africa growing faster? Microeconomic evidence from a firm survey," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(7), pages 837-868.
  3. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125505 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Clarke, George, 2008. "How petty is petty corruption? Evidence from firm survey in Africa," MPRA Paper 15073, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 24 Aug 2008.
  5. Hallward-Driemeier, Mary & Aterido, Reyes, 2009. "Comparing Apples with....Apples : how to make (more) sense of subjective rankings of constraints to business," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5054, The World Bank.
  6. George R.G. Clarke & James Habyarimana & Michael Ingram & David Kaplan & Vijaya Ramachandran, 2007. "An Assessment of the Investment Climate in South Africa," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6738, March.
  7. Clarke, George R.G. & Cull, Robert & Martinez Peria, Maria Soledad, 2006. "Foreign bank participation and access to credit across firms in developing countries," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 774-795, December.
  8. Jensen, Nathan M. & Li, Quan & Rahman, Aminur, 2007. "Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter : understanding corruption using cross-national firm-level surveys," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4413, The World Bank.
  9. Sendhil Mullainathan & Marianne Bertrand, 2001. "Do People Mean What They Say? Implications for Subjective Survey Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 67-72, May.
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