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Big constraints to small firms'growth ? business environment and employment growth across firms

  • Aterido, Reyes
  • Hallward-Driemeier, Mary
  • Pages, Carmen

Using data on more than 56,000 enterprises in 90 countries, this paper finds that objective conditions in the business environment vary substantially across firms of different sizes and that there are important non-linearities in their impact on employment growth. The paper focuses on four areas: access to finance, business regulations, corruption, and infrastructure. The results, particularly on the impacts of finance and corruption on growth, depend on whether and how the analysis accounts for the possible endogeneity of the business environment. Controlling for endogeneity revises the finding that small firms benefit most from access to finance, particularly for sources of finance associated with investment and growth. The findings are also sensitive to how “small” is defined. Differentiating micro (less than 10 employees) from other small firms shows that, while small firms can be disadvantaged in such an environment, micro firms tend to be proportionally less affected by a weak business climate – and, on occasion, it can help them to grow. Overall, allowing different size classifications provides insights into the impact of the business environment that are lost in more aggregate analyses.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5032.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2009
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5032
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  1. Ahsan, Ahmad & Pagés, Carmen, 2009. "Are all labor regulations equal? Evidence from Indian manufacturing," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 62-75, March.
  2. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2002. "Can Labour Regulation Hinder Economic Performance? Evidence from India," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 33, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
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  7. Inessa Love & Nataliya Mylenko, 2003. "Credit reporting and financing constraints," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3142, The World Bank.
  8. Hyeok Jeong & Robert M. Townsend, 2005. "Sources of TFP Growth: Occupational Choice and Financial Deepening," IEPR Working Papers 05.28, Institute of Economic Policy Research (IEPR), revised May 2005.
  9. Simon Johnson & John McMillan & Christopher Woodruff, 2002. "Property Rights and Finance," NBER Working Papers 8852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  15. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3132808 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Beck, T.H.L. & Demirgüc-Kunt, A. & Laeven, L. & Levine, R., 2008. "Finance, firm size and growth," Other publications TiSEM 6e2b24b0-1f95-419b-96c5-a, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  17. 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.
  18. Amil Petrin & Jagadeesh Sivadasan, 2006. "Job Security Does Affect Economic Efficiency: Theory, A New Statistic, and Evidence from Chile," NBER Working Papers 12757, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Hallward-Driemeier, Mary & Aterido, Reyes, 2009. "Comparing Apples with....Apples : how to make (more) sense of subjective rankings of constraints to business," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5054, The World Bank.
  20. Reinikka, Ritva & Svensson, Jakob, 2002. "Coping with poor public capital," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 51-69, October.
  21. Ayyagari, Meghana & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Maksimovic, Vojislav, 2006. "How important are financing constraints ? The role of finance in the business environment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3820, The World Bank.
  22. Almeida, Rita & Carneiro, Pedro, 2008. "Enforcement of labor regulation and firm size," Social Protection Discussion Papers 43675, The World Bank.
  23. Francis Teal, 1998. "The Ghanaian manufacturing sector 1991-1995: firm growth, productivity and convergence," CSAE Working Paper Series 1998-17, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  24. Bigsten, Arne & Soderbom, Mans, 2005. "What have we learned from a decade of manufacturing enterprise surveys in Africa ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3798, The World Bank.
  25. Ximena Clark & David Dollar & Alejandro Micco, 2004. "Port Efficiency, Maritime Transport Costs and Bilateral Trade," NBER Working Papers 10353, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Fisman, Raymond & Svensson, Jakob, 2007. "Are corruption and taxation really harmful to growth? Firm level evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 63-75, May.
  27. Dollar, David & Hallward-Driemeier, Mary & Mengistae, Taye, 2005. "Investment Climate and Firm Performance in Developing Economies," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(1), pages 1-31, October.
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