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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. 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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  3. 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.
  4. 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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  7. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2004. "Can Labor Regulation Hinder Economic Performance? Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 91-134.
  8. Haltiwanger, John & Scarpetta, Stefano & Schweiger, Helena, 2006. "Assessing job flows across countries : the role of industry, firm size, and regulations," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4070, The World Bank.
  9. Meghana Ayyagari & Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Vojislav Maksimovic, 2008. "How Important Are Financing Constraints? The Role of Finance in the Business Environment," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 22(3), pages 483-516, November.
  10. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1992. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction, and Employment Reallocation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 819-863.
  11. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1996. "On the Driving Forces Behind Cyclical Movement, in Employment and Job Reallocation," NBER Working Papers 5775, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. Autor, David & Kerr, William & Kugler, Adriana, 2007. "Do Employment Protections Reduce Productivity? Evidence from U.S. States," IZA Discussion Papers 2571, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. 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.
  15. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, . "Financial Dependence and Growth," CRSP working papers 344, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  16. Diego Restuccia & Richard Rogerson, 2008. "Policy Distortions and Aggregate Productivity with Heterogeneous Plants," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(4), pages 707-720, October.
  17. Jagadeesh Sivadasan & Amil Petrin, 2007. "Job Security Does Affect Economic Efficiency, Theory, A New Statistic, and Evidence from Chile," 2007 Meeting Papers 183, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Almeida, Rita & Carneiro, Pedro, 2008. "Enforcement of labor regulation and firm size," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 43675, The World Bank.
  21. Carmen Pagés-Serra & Alejandro Micco, 2008. "The Economic Effects of Employment Protection: Evidence from International Industry-Level Data," Research Department Publications 4496, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  22. 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.
  23. Reinikka, Ritva & Svensson, Jakob, 2002. "Coping with poor public capital," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 51-69, October.
  24. Ahsan, Ahmad & Pagés, Carmen, 2008. "Are All Labor Regulations Equal? Evidence from Indian Manufacturing," IZA Discussion Papers 3394, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  25. Arne Bigsten & Mans Söderbom, 2006. "What Have We Learned from a Decade of Manufacturing Enterprise Surveys in Africa?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 21(2), pages 241-265.
  26. 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.
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