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Clustering as an organizational response to capital market inefficiency: evidence from microenterprises in Ethiopia

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  • Merima Ali

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  • Jack Peerlings

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  • Xiaobo Zhang

    ()

Abstract

Absence of a well-developed capital market has been listed as a key obstacle to industrialization in developing countries in the development literature. In this paper, we show that industrial clusters, through specialization and division of labor, can ease the financial constraints of microenterprises even in the absence of a well-functioning capital market. By using data from more than 17,000 microenterprises in four sectors and four regions of Ethiopia, we find that clustering lowers capital entry barrier by reducing the initial investment required to start a business. This effect is found to be significantly larger for microenterprises investing in districts with high capital market inefficiency, indicating the importance of clustering as an organizational response to a credit constrained environment. The findings highlight the importance of cluster-based industrial activities as an alternative method of propagating industrialization when local conditions do not allow easy access to credit. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Merima Ali & Jack Peerlings & Xiaobo Zhang, 2014. "Clustering as an organizational response to capital market inefficiency: evidence from microenterprises in Ethiopia," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 697-709, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:43:y:2014:i:3:p:697-709
    DOI: 10.1007/s11187-014-9555-7
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    Keywords

    Microenterprises; Finance; Entry barrier; Clustering; Africa; Ethiopia; L23; L26; M13; O14; R12;

    JEL classification:

    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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