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Micro-Entrepreneurship Training and Asset Transfers: Short Term Impacts on the Poor


  • Claudia Martínez A.
  • Esteban Puentes
  • Jaime Ruiz-Tagle


Using a randomized controlled trial of a large-scale publicly run micro-entrepreneurship program in Chile, we assess the effectiveness of business training and asset transfers on individuals’ employment and income. About half of the participants had not yet started their businesses at intervention, allowing us to study the program effects by baseline economic activity. To analyze the shape of the production function, two levels of asset transfers are allocated. We find that the program does significantly increase individuals’ employment and income by 18% and 32% respectively after one year and significantly improves the business practices of its beneficiaries. The program seems more effective for individuals who are unemployed at the beginning of the program, followed by the selfemployed at the baseline. The effect on wage earners is positive only for low-income individuals. This is consistent with the presence of fixed costs. The additional transfer of assets has a positive and significant effect on employment and self-employment. However, the additional transfer does not have a statistically significant effect on labor and household income, consistent with rapidly decreasing returns in the production function.

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  • Claudia Martínez A. & Esteban Puentes & Jaime Ruiz-Tagle, 2013. "Micro-Entrepreneurship Training and Asset Transfers: Short Term Impacts on the Poor," Working Papers wp380, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:udc:wpaper:wp380

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    5. Daniel R. Feenberg & James M. Poterba, 1993. "Income Inequality and the Incomes of Very High-Income Taxpayers: Evidence from Tax Returns," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 7, pages 145-177 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    8. Sebastián Cea & María Ignacia Contreras & Claudia Martínez & Esteban Puentes, 2009. "Trabajadores por cuenta propia: ¿Quienes son? ¿De donde vienen? ¿Para donde van?," Working Papers wp308, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mckenzie,David J. & Woodruff,Christopher M., 2015. "Business practices in small firms in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7405, The World Bank.
    2. Margaret Miller & Julia Reichelstein & Christian Salas & Bilal Zia, 2015. "Can You Help Someone Become Financially Capable? A Meta-Analysis of the Literature," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 30(2), pages 220-246.
    3. de Mel, Suresh & McKenzie, David & Woodruff, Christopher, 2014. "Business training and female enterprise start-up, growth, and dynamics: Experimental evidence from Sri Lanka," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 199-210.
    4. Verónica Alaimo & Mariano Bosch & David S. Kaplan & Carmen Pagés & Laura Ripani, 2015. "Jobs for Growth," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 90977, February.
    5. Laurin Janes, 2013. "Can capital grants help microenterprises reach the productivity level of SMEs? Evidence from an experiment in Sri Lanka," CSAE Working Paper Series 2013-18, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    6. Claudia Martínez A. & Esteban Puentes & Jaime Ruiz-Tagle, 2015. "Do Micro-Entrepreneurship Programs Increase Wage-Work? Evidence from Chile," Documentos de Trabajo 461, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
    7. Peter J. Glick & Crystal Huang & Nelly Mejia, 2015. "The Private Sector and Youth Skills and Employment Programs in Low and Middle-Income Countries," World Bank Other Operational Studies 23260, The World Bank.
    8. Laurin Janes, 2013. "Can capital grants help microenterprises reach the productivity level of SMEs? Evidence from an experiment in Sri Lanka," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2013-18, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.

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