IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Small Retailers in Brazil: Are Formal Firms Really More Productive?


  • Gaaitzen De Vries


This paper examines the productivity of formal and informal retailers in Brazil by simultaneously estimating a stochastic production frontier and an efficiency model for a cross-section of some 11,000 retail firms with, at most, five workers. Results show that the efficiency of firms is positively related with ICT adoption, managerial ability, technical assistance and participation in a guild. Formal retailers are more productive than informal retailers, even after controlling for self-selection and firm, industry, and firm-owner characteristics.

Suggested Citation

  • Gaaitzen De Vries, 2010. "Small Retailers in Brazil: Are Formal Firms Really More Productive?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(8), pages 1345-1366.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:46:y:2010:i:8:p:1345-1366
    DOI: 10.1080/00220380903147668

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Diana Fletschner, 2008. "Women's Access to Credit: Does It Matter for Household Efficiency?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(3), pages 669-683.
    2. Martin Petrick, 2004. "A microeconometric analysis of credit rationing in the Polish farm sector," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 31(1), pages 77-101, March.
    3. Helfand, Steven M. & Levine, Edward S., 2004. "Farm size and the determinants of productive efficiency in the Brazilian Center-West," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 31(2-3), pages 241-249, December.
    4. Foltz, Jeremy D., 2004. "Credit market access and profitability in Tunisian agriculture," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 30(3), pages 229-240, May.
    5. Michael R. Carter & Pedro Olinto, 2003. "Getting Institutions “Right” for Whom? Credit Constraints and the Impact of Property Rights on the Quantity and Composition of Investment," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(1), pages 173-186.
    6. Stéphane Blancard & Jean-Philippe Boussemart & Walter Briec & Kristiaan Kerstens, 2006. "Short- and Long-Run Credit Constraints in French Agriculture: A Directional Distance Function Framework Using Expenditure-Constrained Profit Functions," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 88(2), pages 351-364.
    7. Carter, Michael R., 1989. "The impact of credit on peasant productivity and differentiation in Nicaragua," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 13-36, July.
    8. Stephen R. Boucher & Michael R. Carter & Catherine Guirkinger, 2008. "Risk Rationing and Wealth Effects in Credit Markets: Theory and Implications for Agricultural Development," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(2), pages 409-423.
    9. Simar, Leopold & Wilson, Paul W., 2007. "Estimation and inference in two-stage, semi-parametric models of production processes," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 31-64, January.
    10. Catherine Guirkinger & Stephen R. Boucher, 2008. "Credit constraints and productivity in Peruvian agriculture," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(3), pages 295-308, November.
    11. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
    12. Hoff, Karla & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1990. "Imperfect Information and Rural Credit Markets--Puzzles and Policy Perspectives," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(3), pages 235-250, September.
    13. Léopold Simar, 2003. "Detecting Outliers in Frontier Models: A Simple Approach," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 391-424, November.
    14. Stephen R. Boucher & Catherine Guirkinger & Carolina Trivelli, 2009. "Direct Elicitation of Credit Constraints: Conceptual and Practical Issues with an Application to Peruvian Agriculture," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(4), pages 609-640, July.
    15. Feder, Gershon & Lau, Lawrence J. & Lin, Justin Y. & Xiaopeng Luo, 1991. "Credit's effect on productivity in Chinese agriculture : a microeconomic model of disequilibrium," Policy Research Working Paper Series 571, The World Bank.
    16. Carter, Michael R. & Galarza, Francisco & Boucher, Stephen, 2007. "Underwriting area-based yield insurance to crowd-in credit supply and demand," MPRA Paper 24326, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. de Vries, Gaaitzen J. & Erumban, Abdul A. & Timmer, Marcel P. & Voskoboynikov, Ilya & Wu, Harry X., 2012. "Deconstructing the BRICs: Structural transformation and aggregate productivity growth," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 211-227.
    2. Amadou Boly, 2015. "On the benefits of formalization: Panel evidence from Vietnam," WIDER Working Paper Series 038, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    3. Ugarte, Darwin, 2012. "The impact of formality on firm profitability in Bolivia: an heterogeneous assessment," Revista Latinoamericana de Desarrollo Economico, Instituto de Investigaciones Socio-Económicas (IISEC), Universidad Católica Boliviana, issue 17, pages 53-74, Mayo.
    4. repec:dgr:rugggd:gd-121 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Smriti Sharma, 2014. "Benefits of a registration policy for microenterprise performance in India," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 153-164, January.
    6. Boly Amadou, 2015. "On the Effects of Formalization on Taxes and Wages: Panel Evidence from Vietnam," WIDER Working Paper Series 042, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:46:y:2010:i:8:p:1345-1366. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.