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Interfirm Relationships and Business Performance

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  • Jing Cai
  • Adam Szeidl

Abstract

We organize regular business meetings for randomly selected managers of young Chinese firms to study the effect of business networks on firm performance. We randomize 2,800 managers into several groups that hold monthly meetings for one year, and a "no-meetings" control group. We find that: (1) The meetings increase firm revenue by 7.8 percentage points, and also significantly increase profit, a management score, employment, and the number of business partners; (2) These effects persist one year after the conclusion of the meetings; and (3) Firms randomized to have better peers exhibit higher growth. We exploit additional interventions to document concrete channels: (4) Peers share exogenous business-relevant information, particularly when they are not competitors, showing that the meetings facilitate learning; (5) Managers create more business partnerships in the regular than in other one-time meetings, showing that the meetings improve firm-to-firm matching.

Suggested Citation

  • Jing Cai & Adam Szeidl, 2016. "Interfirm Relationships and Business Performance," Natural Field Experiments 00562, The Field Experiments Website.
  • Handle: RePEc:feb:natura:00562
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • 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

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