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Credit-constrained in risky activities? The determinants of capital stocks of micro and small firms in Western Africa

Author

Listed:
  • Michael Grimm

    (International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague)

  • Simon Lange

    (Georg-August-University Göttingen)

  • Jann Lay

    (GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg)

Abstract

Micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in developing countries are typically considered to be severely credit constrained. Additionally, high business risks may partly explain why capital stocks of MSEs remain low. This article analyzes the determinants of capital stocks of MSEs in poor economies focusing on credit constraints and risk. The analysis is based on a unique, albeit cross-sectional but backward-looking, micro data set on MSEs covering the economic capitals of seven West-African countries. The main result is that capital market imperfections indeed seem to explain an important part of the variation in capital stocks in the early lifetime of MSEs. Furthermore, the analyses show that risk plays a key role for capital accumulation. Risk-averse individuals seem to adjust their initially low capital stocks upwards when enterprises grow older. MSEs in risky activities owned by wealthy individuals even seem to over-invest when they start their business and adjust capital stocks downwards subsequently. As other firms simultaneously suffer from capital shortages, such behaviour may imply large inefficiencies.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Grimm & Simon Lange & Jann Lay, 2011. "Credit-constrained in risky activities? The determinants of capital stocks of micro and small firms in Western Africa," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 104, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  • Handle: RePEc:got:gotcrc:104
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    2. Grimm, Michael & Peters, Jörg, 2013. "Impact evaluation of improved stove use among dolo-beer breweries in Burkina Faso: FAFASO," RWI Projektberichte, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, number 111431.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Informal sector; micro and small enterprises; credit constraints; risk; risk aversion; firm growth; West-Africa;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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