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Consulting and capital experiments with microenterprise tailors in Ghana

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  • 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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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mckenzie,David J. & Paffhausen,Anna Luisa & Mckenzie,David J. & Paffhausen,Anna Luisa, 2017. "Small firm death in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8236, The World Bank.
    2. Christopher Blattman & Julian C. Jamison & Margaret Sheridan, 2015. "Reducing crime and violence: Experimental evidence from cognitive behavioral therapy in Liberia," NBER Working Papers 21204, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Sharma, Smriti & Tarp, Finn, 2018. "Does managerial personality matter? Evidence from firms in Vietnam," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 432-445.
    4. Greer K. Gosnell & John A. List & Robert Metcalfe, 2016. "A New Approach to an Age-Old Problem: Solving Externalities by Incenting Workers Directly," NBER Working Papers 22316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Singh, Nirvikar, 2018. "Financial Inclusion: Concepts, Issues and Policies for India," MPRA Paper 91047, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Fox,Louise & Kaul,Upaasna, 2018. "The evidence is in : how should youth employment programs in low-income countries be designed ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8500, The World Bank.
    7. Christopher Blattman & Julian Jamison & Margaret Sheridan, 2016. "Reducing crime and violence: Experimental evidence from cognitive behavioral therapy in Liberia [Appendix]," Artefactual Field Experiments 00545, The Field Experiments Website.
    8. repec:eee:wdevel:v:114:y:2019:i:c:p:220-236 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Suzuki, Aya & Igei, Kengo, 2017. "Can Efficient Provision of Business Development Services Bring Better Results for SMEs?: Evidence from a Networking Project in Thailand," Working Papers 147, JICA Research Institute.
    10. Achyuta Adhvaryu & Namrata Kala & Anant Nyshadham, 2019. "Management and Shocks to Worker Productivity," NBER Working Papers 25865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. repec:eee:jeborg:v:149:y:2018:i:c:p:239-268 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Entrepreneurship; Credit constraints; Business training; Consulting; Managerial capital;

    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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