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Networks and Manufacturing Firms in Africa: Results from a Randomized Field Experiment

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  • Marcel Fafchamps
  • Simon Quinn

Abstract

We run a novel field experiment to link managers of African manufacturing firms. The experiment resembles the many forms of interaction that business and community organizations offer to their members. The design features exogenous link formation, exogenous seeding of information, and exogenous assignment to treatment and placebo. We study the impact of the experiment on firm business practices outside of the lab. We find that the experiment successfully created new variation in social networks. We find significant diffusion of business practices in terms of VAT registration and having a bank current account. This diffusion is a combination of diffusion of innovation and simple imitation. At the time of our experiment, all three studied countries were undergoing large changes in their VAT legislation.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcel Fafchamps & Simon Quinn, 2018. "Networks and Manufacturing Firms in Africa: Results from a Randomized Field Experiment," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 32(3), pages 656-675.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:32:y:2018:i:3:p:656-675.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/wber/lhw057
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Simon Quinn & Tom Gole, 2014. "Committees and Status Quo Bias: Structural Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment," Economics Series Working Papers 733, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Javier Mejia, 2018. "Social Networks and Entrepreneurship. Evidence from a Historical Episode of Industrialization," Working Papers 20180020, New York University Abu Dhabi, Department of Social Science, revised Sep 2018.
    3. Jing Cai & Adam Szeidl, 2018. "Interfirm Relationships and Business Performance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 133(3), pages 1229-1282.
    4. SHIMAMOTO Daichi & Yu Ri KIM & TODO Yasuyuki, 2019. "The Effect of Social Interactions on Exporting Activities: Evidence from Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises in rural Vietnam," Discussion papers 19020, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    5. Marcel Fafchamps & Simon Quinn, 2017. "Aspire," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(10), pages 1615-1633, October.
    6. repec:eee:inecon:v:115:y:2018:i:c:p:242-258 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Daichi Shimamoto & Yasuyuki Todo & Yu Ri Kim & Petr Matous, 2017. "Identifying and Decomposing Peer Effects on Decision-Making Using a Randomized Controlled Trial," Working Papers 1704, Waseda University, Faculty of Political Science and Economics.
    8. Comola, Margherita & Prina, Silvia, 2014. "Do Interventions Change the Network? A Panel Peer-Effect Model Accounting for Endogenous Network Changes," IZA Discussion Papers 8641, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Dalton, Patricio & Rüschenpöhler, Julius & Uras, Burak & Zia, Bilal, 2019. "Local Best Practices for Business Growth," Discussion Paper 2019-015, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    10. Bisztray, Márta & Koren, Miklós & Szeidl, Adam, 2018. "Learning to import from your peers," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 242-258.
    11. Hinh T. Dinh & Thomas G. Rawski & Ali Zafar & Lihong Wang & Eleonora Mavroeidi, 2013. "Tales from the Development Frontier : How China and Other Countries Harness Light Manufacturing to Create Jobs and Prosperity," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15763.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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