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Binding Constraints: Does Firm Size Matter?


  • Vargas, Jose P Mauricio


Using Bolivian firm level data from the World Bank 2010 Enterprise Survey, we attempt to find evidence to support the idea that distinct formal firms (according to their size) have a distinct likelihood of facing obstacles. We propose that a potential endogeneity between firms' constraints and firm size should be considered. After calculating estimations from an IV-ordered probit with an ordinal endogenous regressor, the results suggest that the firm size affects the constraint level reported by firms, but not for all kind of obstacles. `Corruption', `Political Instability', and `Crime, Theft and Disorder' are obstacles which affect all firms; `Electricity' and `Transportation' are binding constraints to medium and large firms; and `Access to Financing' is a binding constraint to small firms. These findings are important because they can be directly extrapolated to public policy that is focused on the performance of firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Vargas, Jose P Mauricio, 2012. "Binding Constraints: Does Firm Size Matter?," MPRA Paper 41286, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:41286

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Reyes Aterido & Mary Hallward-Driemeier & Carmen Pagés, 2011. "Big Constraints to Small Firms' Growth? Business Environment and Employment Growth across Firms," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(3), pages 609-647.
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    3. Simon Parker & Mirjam van Praag, 2004. "Schooling, Capital Constraints and Entrepreneurial Performance," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-106/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 07 Mar 2005.
    4. Erik Hurst & Annamaria Lusardi, 2004. "Liquidity Constraints, Household Wealth, and Entrepreneurship," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 319-347, April.
    5. Krishna B. Kumar & Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, "undated". "What Determines Firm Size?," CRSP working papers 496, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
    6. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & David Joulfaian & Harvey S. Rosen, 1994. "Entrepreneurial Decisions and Liquidity Constraints," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 334-347, Summer.
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    8. Gian Luca Clementi & Hugo A. Hopenhayn, 2006. "A Theory of Financing Constraints and Firm Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(1), pages 229-265.
    9. 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, February.
    10. Thomas F. Cooley & Vincenzo Quadrini, 2001. "Financial Markets and Firm Dynamics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1286-1310, December.
    11. Hobdari, Bersant & Jones, Derek C. & Mygind, Niels, 2009. "Capital investment and determinants of financial constraints in Estonia," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 344-359, December.
    12. Johansson, Edvard, 2000. " Self-Employment and Liquidity Constraints: Evidence from Finland," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(1), pages 123-134, March.
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    14. Patrizio Pagano & Fabiano Schivardi, 2003. "Firm Size Distribution and Growth," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(2), pages 255-274, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ali Fakih & Pascal L. Ghazalian, 2015. "What factors influence firm perceptions of labour market constraints to growth in the MENA region?," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 36(8), pages 1181-1206, November.
    2. Bateman, Milford, 2013. "The age of microfinance: Destroying Latin American economies from the bottom up," Working Papers 39, Österreichische Forschungsstiftung für Internationale Entwicklung (ÖFSE) / Austrian Foundation for Development Research.
    3. Michael J. Peel, 2014. "Addressing unobserved endogeneity bias in accounting studies: control and sensitivity methods by variable type," Accounting and Business Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(5), pages 545-571, October.

    More about this item


    Firm; Size; Constraints; IV-oprobit;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • C42 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Survey Methods
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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