IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/tiu/tiucen/fc650e2f-88cf-4d75-8257-f221751d3db0.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Local Best Practices for Business Growth

Author

Listed:
  • Dalton, Patricio

    (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)

  • Rüschenpöhler, Julius

    (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)

  • Uras, Burak

    (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)

  • Zia, Bilal

Abstract

Can best practices of successful business peers influence the efficiency and growth of small-scale enterprises? Does it matter how this information is disseminated? This paper conducts a field experiment among urban retail shop owners in Indonesia to address these research questions. Through extensive baseline quantitative and qualitative assessments, we develop a handbook of local best practices that associates specific business practices with performance and provides detailed implementation guidance informed by exemplary local shop owners. The handbook is distributed to a randomly selected sample of shop owners and is complemented with three experiential learning modules: one group is invited to watch a documentary video on experiences of highly successful peers, another is offered light in-shop assistance on the implementation of the handbook, and a third group is offered both. Eighteen months after the intervention, we find no effect of offering the handbook alone, but significant impact on practice adoption when the handbook is coupled with experiential learning. On business performance we find sizable and significant improvements as well, up to a 35% increase in profits and 16.7% in revenues. The types of practices adopted map these performance improvements to efficiency gains rather than other channels. The analysis suggests these interventions are simple, scalable, and highly cost-effective.

Suggested Citation

  • Dalton, Patricio & Rüschenpöhler, Julius & Uras, Burak & Zia, Bilal, 2019. "Local Best Practices for Business Growth," Discussion Paper 2019-015, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:tiu:tiucen:fc650e2f-88cf-4d75-8257-f221751d3db0
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://pure.uvt.nl/ws/portalfiles/portal/29848976/2019_015.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. de Mel, Suresh & McKenzie, David J. & Woodruff, Christopher, 2009. "Measuring microenterprise profits: Must we ask how the sausage is made?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 19-31, January.
    2. Anderson,Stephen J. & Lazicky,Christy Marie & Zia,Bilal Husnain, 2019. "Measuring the Unmeasured : Combining Technology and Behavioral Insights to Improve Measurement of Business Outcomes," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8836, The World Bank.
    3. repec:cup:apsrev:v:105:y:2011:i:04:p:765-789_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Premand, Patrick & Brodmann, Stefanie & Almeida, Rita & Grun, Rebekka & Barouni, Mahdi, 2016. "Entrepreneurship Education and Entry into Self-Employment Among University Graduates," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 311-327.
    5. repec:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/696154 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:oup:wbecrv:v:32:y:2018:i:3:p:656-675. is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:oup:jeurec:v:15:y:2017:i:5:p:1025-1055. is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Alberto Chong & Eliana La Ferrara, 2009. "Television and Divorce: Evidence from Brazilian Novelas," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 458-468, 04-05.
    9. Jing Cai & Adam Szeidl, 2018. "Interfirm Relationships and Business Performance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 133(3), pages 1229-1282.
    10. Timothy G. Conley & Christopher R. Udry, 2010. "Learning about a New Technology: Pineapple in Ghana," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 35-69, March.
    11. Alejandro Drexler & Greg Fischer & Antoinette Schoar, 2014. "Keeping It Simple: Financial Literacy and Rules of Thumb," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 1-31, April.
    12. Eliana La Ferrara & Alberto Chong & Suzanne Duryea, 2012. "Soap Operas and Fertility: Evidence from Brazil," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 1-31, October.
    13. Alberto Chong & Eliana La Ferrara, 2009. "Television and Divorce: Evidence from Brazilian Novelas," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 458-468, 04-05.
    14. Foster, Andrew D & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1995. "Learning by Doing and Learning from Others: Human Capital and Technical Change in Agriculture," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1176-1209, December.
    15. Miriam Bruhn & Dean Karlan & Antoinette Schoar, 2018. "The Impact of Consulting Services on Small and Medium Enterprises: Evidence from a Randomized Trial in Mexico," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 126(2), pages 635-687.
    16. Oriana Bandiera & Imran Rasul, 2006. "Social Networks and Technology Adoption in Northern Mozambique," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(514), pages 869-902, October.
    17. Nicholas Bloom & Aprajit Mahajan & David McKenzie & John Roberts, 2010. "Why Do Firms in Developing Countries Have Low Productivity?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 619-623, May.
    18. repec:hrv:faseco:32785047 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2013. "Energy Conservation “Nudges” And Environmentalist Ideology: Evidence From A Randomized Residential Electricity Field Experiment," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 680-702, June.
    20. Allcott, Hunt, 2011. "Social norms and energy conservation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9-10), pages 1082-1095, October.
    21. Nichter, Simeon & Goldmark, Lara, 2009. "Small Firm Growth in Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1453-1464, September.
    22. Jeffrey R Kling & Jeffrey B Liebman & Lawrence F Katz, 2007. "Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 83-119, January.
    23. Lori Beaman & Ariel BenYishay & Jeremy Magruder & Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak, 2018. "Can Network Theory-based Targeting Increase Technology Adoption?," NBER Working Papers 24912, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. David McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2014. "What Are We Learning from Business Training and Entrepreneurship Evaluations around the Developing World?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 29(1), pages 48-82.
    25. John Beshears & James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Katherine L. Milkman, 2015. "The Effect of Providing Peer Information on Retirement Savings Decisions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 70(3), pages 1161-1201, June.
    26. Carpena,Fenella & Zia,Bilal Husnain, 2018. "The Causal Mechanism of Financial Education : Evidence from Mediation Analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8619, The World Bank.
    27. María Bernedo & Paul Ferraro & Michael Price, 2014. "The Persistent Impacts of Norm-Based Messaging and Their Implications for Water Conservation," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 437-452, September.
    28. repec:aea:aejapp:v:10:y:2018:i:4:p:196-221 is not listed on IDEAS
    29. Patricio S. Dalton & Sayantan Ghosal & Anandi Mani, 2016. "Poverty and Aspirations Failure," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(590), pages 165-188, February.
    30. Miriam Bruhn & Bilal Zia, 2013. "Stimulating managerial capital in emerging markets: the impact of business training for young entrepreneurs," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(2), pages 232-266, June.
    31. Marcel Fafchamps & Simon Quinn, 2018. "Networks and Manufacturing Firms in Africa: Results from a Randomized Field Experiment," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 32(3), pages 656-675.
    32. Miriam Bruhn & David McKenzie, 2009. "In Pursuit of Balance: Randomization in Practice in Development Field Experiments," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 200-232, October.
    33. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, 2004. "Social Comparisons and Pro-social Behavior: Testing "Conditional Cooperation" in a Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1717-1722, December.
    34. Gunhild Berg & Bilal Zia, 2017. "Harnessing Emotional Connections to Improve Financial Decisions: Evaluating the Impact of Financial Education in Mainstream Media," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 15(5), pages 1025-1055.
    35. Munshi, Kaivan, 2004. "Social learning in a heterogeneous population: technology diffusion in the Indian Green Revolution," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 185-213, February.
    36. repec:oup:jeurec:v:14:y:2016:i:4:p:791-827. is not listed on IDEAS
    37. Gollin, Douglas, 2008. "Nobody's business but my own: Self-employment and small enterprise in economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 219-233, March.
    38. Bernard, Tanguy & Dercon, Stefan & Orkin, Kate & Taffesse, Alemayehu, 2014. "The Future in Mind: Aspirations and Forward-Looking Behaviour in Rural Ethiopia," CEPR Discussion Papers 10224, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    39. McKenzie, David, 2012. "Beyond baseline and follow-up: The case for more T in experiments," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 210-221.
    40. Allcott, Hunt, 2011. "Social norms and energy conservation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9), pages 1082-1095.
    41. Eliana La Ferrara, 2016. "Mass Media And Social Change: Can We Use Television To Fight Poverty?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 791-827, August.
    42. Carpena,Fenella & Cole,Shawn A. & Shapiro,Jeremy & Zia,Bilal Husnain, 2015. "The ABCs of financial education : experimental evidence on attitudes, behavior, and cognitive biases," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7413, The World Bank.
    43. Robert Jensen, 2010. "The (Perceived) Returns to Education and the Demand for Schooling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(2), pages 515-548.
    44. repec:aea:aejapp:v:10:y:2018:i:4:p:222-45 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    business practices; small-scale enterprises; peer knowledge; efficiency gains; sicoal learning;

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • M20 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics - - - General
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O35 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Social Innovation
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • M50 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tiu:tiucen:fc650e2f-88cf-4d75-8257-f221751d3db0. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Richard Broekman). General contact details of provider: http://center.uvt.nl .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.