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Identifying gazelles: expert panels vs. surveys as a means to identify firms with rapid growth potential

Author

Listed:
  • Fafchamps, Marcel

    (Stanford University)

  • Woodruff, Christopher

    (The University of Warwick)

Abstract

We conduct a business plan competition to determine whether survey instruments or panel judges are able to predict which participating firms will grow fastest. Participants were required to submit a simple six- to eight-page business plan and then defend that plan before a panel of three or four judges. We surveyed the pool of applicants shortly after they applied, and then one and two years after the business plan competition. We use the follow-up surveys to construct a measure of enterprise growth, and use the baseline surveys and panel scores to construct measures of the potential for growth of the enterprise. We find that a measure of ability correlates quite strongly with future growth, but that the panel scores add to predictive power even after controlling for the measure of ability and other variables from the survey. The survey questions appear to have more power to explain the variance in growth. Participants presenting before the panel were give a chance to win customized management training. Fourteen months after the training, we find no positive effect of the training on growth of the business.

Suggested Citation

  • Fafchamps, Marcel & Woodruff, Christopher, 2014. "Identifying gazelles: expert panels vs. surveys as a means to identify firms with rapid growth potential," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 213, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:213
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    File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/manage/publications/213-2014_woodruff.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Luís M B Cabral & José Mata, 2003. "On the Evolution of the Firm Size Distribution: Facts and Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1075-1090, September.
    2. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ronald S. Jarmin & C.J. Krizan & Javier Miranda & Alfred Nucci & Kristin Sandusky, 2009. "Measuring the Dynamics of Young and Small Businesses: Integrating the Employer and Nonemployer Universes," NBER Chapters,in: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data, pages 329-366 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. David McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2014. "What Are We Learning from Business Training and Entrepreneurship Evaluations around the Developing World?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 29(1), pages 48-82.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. David McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2015. "Business Practices in Small Firms in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 21505, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Erin L. Scott & Pian Shu & Roman M. Lubynsky, 2015. "Are “Better” Ideas More Likely to Succeed? An Empirical Analysis of Startup Evaluation," Harvard Business School Working Papers 16-013, Harvard Business School.
    3. Marcel Fafchamps & Simon Quinn, 2017. "Aspire," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(10), pages 1615-1633, October.
    4. Dalton, Patricio & Rüschenpöhler, Julius & Zia, Bilal, 2018. "Determinants and Dynamics of Business Aspirations : Evidence from Small-scale Entrepreneurs in an Emerging Market," Discussion Paper 2018-009, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    5. Xinshen Diao & Josaphat Kweka & Margaret McMillan, 2016. "Economic Transformation in Africa from the Bottom Up: Evidence from Tanzania," NBER Working Papers 22889, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. McKenzie, David J. & Sansone, Dario, 2017. "Man vs. Machine in Predicting Successful Entrepreneurs: Evidence from a Business Plan Competition in Nigeria," CEPR Discussion Papers 12523, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. David McKenzie, 2017. "Identifying and Spurring High-Growth Entrepreneurship: Experimental Evidence from a Business Plan Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(8), pages 2278-2307, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Growth;

    JEL classification:

    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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