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Do Interventions Targeted at Micro-Entrepreneurs and Small and Medium-Sized Firms Create Jobs? A Systematic Review of the Evidence for Low and Middle Income Countries

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  • Grimm, Michael

    () (University of Passau)

  • Paffhausen, Anna Luisa

    () (World Bank)

Abstract

Worldwide 600 million jobs are needed over the next 15 years to keep employment rates at their current level. Governments, non-governmental organizations and donors spend on targeted programs and broader policies to enhance employment creation and the creation of new firms. Because most employment in low and middle income countries is in micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, these firms are especially targeted by such interventions. Despite these efforts, not much is known about which of these interventions are really effective and under which conditions particular interventions work. This systematic review synthesizes the existing evidence on the impact of these programs. Overall the review shows that creating employment is a very complex challenge. Many conditions have to be met before interventions in favor of individual enterprises do not only improve business practices and performance but also lead to additional jobs. A striking finding is that the study design matters for the impacts found; randomized controlled trials find systematically smaller effects than quasi-experimental studies. A significant shortcoming of the literature is that almost nothing is known about long term effects and cost effectiveness.

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  • Grimm, Michael & Paffhausen, Anna Luisa, 2014. "Do Interventions Targeted at Micro-Entrepreneurs and Small and Medium-Sized Firms Create Jobs? A Systematic Review of the Evidence for Low and Middle Income Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 8193, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8193
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    Cited by:

    1. Blattman, Christopher & Dercon, Stefan, 2016. "Occupational choice in early industrializing societies: Experimental evidence on the income and health effects of industrial and entrepreneurial work," CEPR Discussion Papers 11556, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Erhardt, Eva Christine, 2017. "Microfinance beyond self-employment: Evidence for firms in Bulgaria," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 75-95.
    3. Björn Nilsson, 2017. "The School-to-work transition in developing countries," Working Papers DT/2017/07, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    4. Axel Demenet, 2016. "Does Managerial Capital also Matter Among Micro and Small Firms in Developing Countries?," Working Papers DT/2016/12, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    5. Kluve, Jochen & Puerto, Olga Susana & Robalino, David A. & Romero, Jose M. & Rother, Friederike & Stöterau, Jonathan & Weidenkaff, Felix & Witte, Marc, 2016. "Do Youth Employment Programs Improve Labor Market Outcomes? A Systematic Review," IZA Discussion Papers 10263, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Burchell, Brendan. & Coutts, Adam. & Hall, Edward. & Pye, Nick., 2015. "Self-employment programmes for young people : a review of the context, policies and evidence," ILO Working Papers 994898993402676, International Labour Organization.
    7. Suzuki, Aya & Igei, Kengo, 2017. "Can Efficient Provision of Business Development Services Bring Better Results for SMEs?: Evidence from a Networking Project in Thailand," Working Papers 147, JICA Research Institute.
    8. Yoonyoung Cho & David Robalino & Samantha Watson, 2016. "Supporting self-employment and small-scale entrepreneurship: potential programs to improve livelihoods for vulnerable workers," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-26, December.
    9. Mckenzie,David J., 2015. "Identifying and spurring high-growth entrepreneurship : experimental evidence from a business plan competition," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7391, The World Bank.
    10. repec:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:8:p:2278-2307 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:12:p:2293-:d:122333 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    employment; active labor market policy; systematic review; micro; small and medium sized firms; firm creation; impact evaluations;

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General

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