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Misallocation, Property Rights, and Access to Finance: Evidence from Within and Across Africa

  • Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan
  • Bent E. Sorensen

We study capital misallocation within and across 10 African countries using the World Bank Enterprise Surveys. First, we compare the extent of misallocation among firms within countries. We document high variation in firms' marginal product of capital (MPK), implying that countries could produce significantly more with the same aggregate capital stock if capital were allocated optimally. Such variation differs from country to country with some African countries (success stories) closer to developed country benchmarks. Small firms and non-exporters have less access to finance and have higher returns to capital in general. Self reported measures of obstacles to firms' operations suggest access to finance is the most important obstacle: A firm with the worst access to finance has MPK 45 percent higher than a firm with the worst access to finance as a result of low capital per worker. We compare average levels of the MPK across countries, finding evidence that the strength of property rights and the quality of the legal system help explain country-level differences in capital misallocation.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w18030.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18030.

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Date of creation: May 2012
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Publication status: Forthcoming: Misallocation, Property Rights, and Access to Finance: Evidence from Within and Across Africa , Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, Bent E. Sørensen. in African Successes: Modernization and Development , Edwards, Johnson, and Weil. 2015
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18030
Note: IFM
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Laura Alfaro & Andrew Charlton & Fabio Kanczuk, 2008. "Plant-Size Distribution and Cross-Country Income Differences," NBER Working Papers 14060, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Vojislav Maksimovic, 2005. "Financial and Legal Constraints to Growth: Does Firm Size Matter?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(1), pages 137-177, 02.
  3. Mary Hallward-Driemeier & Gita Khun-Jush & Lant Pritchett, 2014. "Deals versus Rules: Policy Implementation Uncertainty and Why Firms Hate It," NBER Chapters, in: African Successes: Government and Institutions National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Beck, T.H.L. & Demirgüc-Kunt, A. & Laeven, L. & Maksimovic, V., 2006. "The determinants of financing obstacles," Other publications TiSEM 3fd6bd22-71e9-4084-87a3-1, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  5. Angus Deaton & Alan Heston, 2009. "Understanding PPPs and PPP-based national accounts," Working Papers 1186, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  6. Chang, Tai Hsieh & Peter, J- Klenow, 2007. "Misallocation and manufacturing TFP in China and India," MPRA Paper 35084, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 15 Jun 2007.
  7. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Benjamin Moll, 2010. "Why Does Misallocation Persist?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 189-206, January.
  8. Eric J. Bartelsman & John C. Haltiwanger & Stefano Scarpetta, 2009. "Cross-Country Differences in Productivity: The Role of Allocation and Selection," NBER Working Papers 15490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Diego Restuccia & Richard Rogerson, 2007. "Policy Distortions and Aggregate Productivity with Heterogeneous Plants," NBER Working Papers 13018, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Simon Johnson & John McMillan & Christopher Woodruff, 2002. "Property Rights and Finance," NBER Working Papers 8852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-4295079 is not listed on IDEAS
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