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What Makes Small Firms Grow? Finance, Human Capital, Technical Assistance, and the Business Environment in Romania

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Abstract

Although the development of a new private sector is generally considered crucial to economic transition, there has been rather little empirical research on the determinants of startup firm growth. This paper uses panel data techniques to analyze a survey of 297 new small enterprises in Romania containing detailed information from the startup date through 2001. We find strong evidence that access to external credit increases the growth of both employment and sales. Taxes appear to constrain growth. The data suggest that entrepreneurial skills have little independent effect on growth, once demand conditions are taken into account. The evidence for the effectiveness of technical assistance is weak: only assistance provided by foreign partners yields a positive effect. A wide variety of alternative measures of the business environment (contract enforcement, property rights, and corruption) are tested, but none are found to have any clear association with firm growth.
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  • J. David Brown & John S. Earle & Dana Lup, "undated". "What Makes Small Firms Grow? Finance, Human Capital, Technical Assistance, and the Business Environment in Romania," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles jse20052, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:upj:weupjo:jse20052
    Note: Appears in Economic Development and Cultural Change 54(1): 33-70
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    Cited by:

    1. Wolter, Hans-Jürgen, 2010. "Informationsasymmetrien in der familienexternen Nachfolge und ihre Überwindung," IfM-Materialien 191, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) Bonn.
    2. Francis Boadu & Gabriel Dwomoh & Sarpong Appiah & Elizabeth Dwomo-Fokuo, 2014. "Venture Capital Financing: An Opportunity for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in Ghana," Journal of Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation, Macrothink Institute, Journal of Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation, vol. 1(1), pages 1-15, June.
    3. David N Margolis, 2014. "By Choice and by Necessity: Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment in the Developing World," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 26(4), pages 419-436, September.
    4. Erhardt, Eva Christine, 2017. "Microfinance beyond self-employment: Evidence for firms in Bulgaria," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 75-95.
    5. Dorothea Schäfer & Susan Steiner, 2014. "Financial Development and Employment: Evidence from Transition Countries," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1390, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    6. Burja Camelia, 2012. "Human Capital'S Impact On The Performance Of Romanian Knowledge Based Companies," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1(2), pages 337-342, December.
    7. Rodríguez-Planas, Núria, 2007. "What Works Best for Getting the Unemployed Back to Work: Employment Services or Small-Business Assistance Programmes? Evidence from Romania," IZA Discussion Papers 3051, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Levering, Britta & Schlömer-Laufen, Nadine, 2012. "Öffentliche Förderung von Unternehmensübernahmen: Notwendigkeit und Ausgestaltung," IfM-Materialien 219, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) Bonn.
    9. Toledo, Arcelia & Hernández, José de la Paz & Griffin, Denis, 2010. "Incentives and the growth of Oaxacan subsistence businesses," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 63(6), pages 630-638, June.
    10. Jahangir Aziz & Li Cui, 2007. "Explaining China’s Low Consumption; The Neglected Role of Household Income," IMF Working Papers 07/181, International Monetary Fund.
    11. Nofsinger, John R. & Wang, Weicheng, 2011. "Determinants of start-up firm external financing worldwide," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 2282-2294, September.
    12. Ioan E. Nistor & Daniela-Rodica Popescu, 2013. "Romanian SMEs Financing Options: An Empirical Analysis," Finante - provocarile viitorului (Finance - Challenges of the Future), University of Craiova, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, vol. 1(15), pages 12-21, December.
    13. Bah, El-hadj & Brada, Josef C. & Yigit, Taner, 2011. "With a little help from our friends: The effect of USAID assistance on SME growth in a transition economy," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 205-220, June.
    14. Brown, J. David & Earle, John S., 2006. "The microeconomics of creating productive jobs : a synthesis of firm-level studies in transition economies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3886, The World Bank.
    15. Abiola Babajide Ph.D, 2012. "Effects of Microfinance on Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) Growth in Nigeria," Asian Economic and Financial Review, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 2(3), pages 463-477, July.
    16. Moog, Petra & Kay, Rosemarie & Schlömer-Laufen, Nadine & Schlepphorst, Susanne, 2012. "Unternehmensnachfolgen in Deutschland: Aktuelle Trends," IfM-Materialien 216, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) Bonn.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    transition economies; small firms; human capital; Romania; finance;

    JEL classification:

    • P2 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

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