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The binding constraint on firms'growth in developing countries

Author

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  • T. Dinh, Hinh
  • Mavridis, Dimitris A.
  • Nguyen, Hoa B.

Abstract

Firms in developing countries face numerous and serious constraints on their growth, ranging from corruption to lack of infrastructure to inability to access finance. Countries lack the resources to remove all the constraints at once and so would be better off removing the most binding one first. This paper uses data from World Bank Enterprise Surveys in 2006-10 to identify the most binding constraints on firm operations in developing countries. While each country faces a different set of constraints, these constraints also vary by firm characteristics, especially firm size. Across all countries, access to finance is among the most binding constraints; other obstacles appear to matter much less. This result is robust for all regions. Smaller firms must rely more on their own funds to invest and would grow significantly faster if they had greater access to external funds. As a result, a low level of financial development skews the firm size distribution by increasing the relative share of small firms. The results suggest that financing constraints play a significant part in explaining the"missing middle"-- the failure of small firms in developing countries to grow into medium-size or large firms.

Suggested Citation

  • T. Dinh, Hinh & Mavridis, Dimitris A. & Nguyen, Hoa B., 2010. "The binding constraint on firms'growth in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5485, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5485
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Harrison, Ann E. & Lin, Justin Yifu & Xu, Lixin Colin, 2014. "Explaining Africa’s (Dis)advantage," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 59-77.
    2. Vargas, Jose P Mauricio, 2012. "Binding Constraints: Does Firm Size Matter?," MPRA Paper 41286, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Sorin Gabriel ANTON, 2016. "The Impact Of Leverage On Firm Growth. Empirical Evidence From Romanian Listed Firms," Review of Economic and Business Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, issue 18, pages 147-158, December.
    4. Aalia Cassim & Kezia Lilenstein & Morné Oosthuizen & Francois Steenkamp, 2016. "Informality and Inclusive Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 201602, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    5. Mauricio Vargas, 2015. "Identifying Binding Constraints to Growth; Does Firm Size Matter?," IMF Working Papers 15/3, International Monetary Fund.
    6. María Dolores Parra & Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso & Celestino Suarez-Burguet, 2014. "Business environmental constraints for Egyptian firms," SERMED 2014 Conference Papers p17, Instituto Universitario de Análisis Económico y Social.
    7. Lashitew, Addisu A., 2011. "Does Access to Finance Lower Firms’ Cost of Capital? Empirical Evidence from International Manufacturing Data," GGDC Research Memorandum GD-120, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.

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    Keywords

    Access to Finance; Environmental Economics&Policies; Microfinance; Debt Markets; Banks&Banking Reform;

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