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Consulting and capital experiments with microenterprise tailors in Ghana

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Listed:
  • Karlan, Dean
  • Knight, Ryan
  • Udry, Christopher

Abstract

We conducted a randomized trial in urban Ghana in which tailoring microenterprises received advice from an international consulting firm, cash, both, or neither. We designed the study with a hypothesis that large infusions of financial and managerial capital could be transformative. We find that all three treatments led to their immediate intended effects: changed business practices and increased investment. However, no treatment led to higher profits on average, and certainly not to the large effects hypothesized. In fact, each treatment at some point led to lower profits. Then, in the long run, we find that the microentrepreneurs in either consulting treatment group reverted back to their prior business practices, and that microentrepreneurs in the cash treatment group reverted back to their prior scale of operations.

Suggested Citation

  • Karlan, Dean & Knight, Ryan & Udry, Christopher, 2015. "Consulting and capital experiments with microenterprise tailors in Ghana," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 281-302.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:118:y:2015:i:c:p:281-302
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2015.04.005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Entrepreneurship; Credit constraints; Business training; Consulting; Managerial capital;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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