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

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  • Clarke George R

    (Texas A & M International University)

Abstract

During the World Banks 2007-2008 Enterprise Survey, a major power crisis hit South Africa. Not surprisingly, this affected managers perceptions about electricitythe 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Clarke George R, 2011. "Are Managers' Perceptions of Constraints to Growth Reliable? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in South Africa," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-28, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:globdv:v:2:y:2011:i:1:n:3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Jakob Svensson, 2005. "Eight Questions about Corruption," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 19-42, Summer.
    5. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Levine, Ross, 2006. "Bank supervision and corruption in lending," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 2131-2163, November.
    6. Clarke, George R.G., 2011. "How Petty is Petty Corruption? Evidence from Firm Surveys in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 1122-1132, July.
    7. 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.
    8. Omar Azfar & Peter Murrell, 2009. "Identifying Reticent Respondents: Assessing the Quality of Survey Data on Corruption and Values," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(2), pages 387-411, January.
    9. Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Vojislav Maksimovic, 2005. "Financial and Legal Constraints to Growth: Does Firm Size Matter?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(1), pages 137-177, February.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Clarke, George R.G. & Cull, Robert & Kisunko, Gregory, 2012. "External finance and firm survival in the aftermath of the crisis: Evidence from Eastern Europe and Central Asia," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 372-392.
    2. Ali Fakih & Pascal L. Ghazalian, 2015. "What factors influence firm perceptions of labour market constraints to growth in the MENA region?," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 36(8), pages 1181-1206, November.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O2 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy
    • C42 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Survey Methods
    • O20 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - General
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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