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Do Institutions, Ownership, Exporting and Competition Explain Firm Performance? Evidence from 26 Transition Countries

  • Commander, Simon

    ()

    (IE Business School, Altura Partners)

  • Svejnar, Jan

    ()

    (Columbia University)

We analyze a large stratified random sample of firms that provide us with measures of performance and each firm’s top manager’s perception of the severity of business environment constraints faced by his/her firm. Unlike most existing studies that rely on external and aggregated proxy measures of the business environment, defined to include legal and institutional features, we have information from each surveyed firm. Specifically, we use the 2005 and 2002 Business Environment and Enterprise Performance Survey (BEEPS) to assess the effect on performance of ownership, competition, export orientation and the business environment of the firm. We employ a variety of approaches to deal with the problem of omitted variables, errors in variables and endogeneity that plague studies in this area. We find that foreign ownership and competition have an impact on performance – measured as the level of sales controlling for inputs. Export orientation of the firm does not have an effect on performance once ownership is taken into account. When we analyze the impact of perceived constraints, we show that few retain explanatory power once they are introduced jointly rather than one at a time, or when country, industry and year fixed effects are introduced. Indeed, country fixed effects largely absorb the explanatory power of the constraints faced by individual firms. Replicating the analysis with commonly used country-level indicators of the business environment, we do not find much of a relationship between constraints and performance. Our analysis brings into question an important part of the conventional wisdom in this area. It indicates that country fixed effects, reflecting time-invariant differences in the business environment but also other factors, matter for firm performance, but that differences in the business environment observed across firms within countries do not. Moreover, the limited firm- and country-level variations in the business environment over time do not appear to affect performance either. This suggests that the effect of business environment on performance and the analysts’ ability to identify this effect are more limited than has been assumed to date.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2637.

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Length: 57 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2637
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  1. Carlin, Wendy & Schaffer, Mark E & Seabright, Paul, 2007. "Where Are the Real Bottlenecks? Evidence from 20,000 Firms in 60 Countries about the Shadow Costs of Constraints to Firm Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 3059, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Klapper, Leora F. & Love, Inessa, 2004. "Corporate governance, investor protection, and performance in emerging markets," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(5), pages 703-728, November.
  3. Carlin, Wendy & Schaffer, Mark E & Seabright, Paul, 2004. "A Minimum of Rivalry: Evidence from Transition Economies on the Importance of Competition for Innovation and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 4343, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  6. Jan Hanousek & Evzen Kocenda & Jan Svejnar, 2005. "Origin and Concentration: Corporate Ownership, Control and Performance," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp259, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  7. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1999. "Governance matters," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2196, The World Bank.
  8. Mary Hallward-Driemeier & Scott Wallsten & Lixin Colin Xu, 2006. "Ownership, investment climate and firm performance," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 14(4), pages 629-647, October.
  9. Dollar, David & Hallward-Driemeier, Mary & Mengistae, Taye, 2006. "Investment climate and international integration," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 1498-1516, September.
  10. Philippe Aghion & Robin Burgess & Stephen Redding & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2006. "The unequal effects of liberalization: evidence from dismantling the License Raj in India," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3773, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  11. Philippe Aghion & Nicholas Bloom & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt, 2002. "Competition and Innovation: An Inverted U Relationship," NBER Working Papers 9269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Nandini Gupta & John C. Ham & Jan Svejnar, 2000. "Priorities and Sequencing in Privatization: Theory and Evidence from the Czech Republic," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 323, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  13. Levine, Ross & Zervos, Sara, 1998. "Stock Markets, Banks, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 537-58, June.
  14. Klara Sabirianova Peter & Jan Svejnar & Katherine Terrell, 2012. "Foreign Investment, Corporate Ownership, and Development: Are Firms in Emerging Markets Catching Up to the World Standard?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 981-999, November.
  15. Simon Johnson & John McMillan, 2002. "Courts and Relational Contracts," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(1), pages 221-277, April.
  16. Francesca Pissarides & Miroslav Singer & Jan Svejnar, 2000. "Objectives and constraints of entrepreneurs: evidence from small and medium-sized enterprises in Russia and Bulgaria," Working Papers 59, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Office of the Chief Economist.
  17. Juan Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael Porta & Florencio C. Lopez-De-Silanes, 2004. "The Regulation of Labor," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1339-1382, November.
  18. Simeon Djankov & Peter Murrell, 2002. "Enterprise Restructuring in Transition: A Quantitative Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(3), pages 739-792, September.
  19. Wendy Carlin & Mark Schaffer & Paul Seabright, 2006. "Where are the Real Bottlenecks? A Lagrangian Approach to Identifying Constraints on Growth from Subjective Survey Data," CERT Discussion Papers 0604, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
  20. Micco, Alejandro & Pagés, Carmen, 2006. "The Economic Effects of Employment Protection: Evidence from International Industry-Level Data," IZA Discussion Papers 2433, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  21. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, . "Financial Dependence and Growth," CRSP working papers 344, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
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  23. Roman Frydman & Cheryl Gray & Marek Hessel & Andrzej Rapaczynski, 1999. "When Does Privatization Work? The Impact Of Private Ownership On Corporate Performance In The Transition Economies," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1153-1191, November.
  24. Klara Sabirianova & Jan Svejnar & Katherine Terrell, 2005. "Distance to the Efficiency Frontier and Foreign Direct Investment Spillovers," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 576-586, 04/05.
  25. Ricardo Hausmann & Bailey Klinger, 2008. "Growth Diagnostics: Perú," Research Department Publications 2005, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  26. Art Durnev & Kan Li & Randall Mørck & Bernard Yeung, 2004. "Capital markets and capital allocation: Implications for economies in transition," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 12(4), pages 593-634, December.
  27. Schmidt, Peter, 1988. "Estimation of a fixed-effect Cobb-Douglas system using panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 361-380, March.
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