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Can capital grants help microenterprises reach the productivity level of SMEs? Evidence from an experiment in Sri Lanka

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  • Laurin Janes

Abstract

Using data from a randomized control trial in Sri Lanka, this paper explores whether cash and in-kind grants helped microenterprises approach the productivity level of SMEs. The paper first estimates production functions and subsequently treatment effects on TFP levels. Most significantly, more able and more risk-averse owners benefit from the larger in-kind grant. Also, the larger in-kind grants allowed for increases in productivity to the least productive firms. The paper then uses data from a representative sample of formal firms to put the TFP levels and treatment effects in the microenterprises into perspective. The results suggest that the least productive firms where able to catch up with the average microenterprise and formal SMEs, while a gap remains with large firms. This finding encourages a positive view of the potential for productivity growth in microenterprises.

Suggested Citation

  • Laurin Janes, 2013. "Can capital grants help microenterprises reach the productivity level of SMEs? Evidence from an experiment in Sri Lanka," CSAE Working Paper Series 2013-18, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2013-18
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    File URL: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/csae-wps-2013-18.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic development; microenterprises; formal informal; total factor productivity; embodied technology;

    JEL classification:

    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • 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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