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The impact of consulting services on small and medium enterprises: evidence from a randomized trial in Mexico

  • Bruhn, Miriam
  • Karlan, Dean
  • Schoar, Antoinette

Using a randomized evaluation with 432 Mexican small and medium enterprises, this paper shows that access to management consulting led to better firm performance: one-year results show positive effects on return-on-assets and total factor productivity. Owners also had large increases in"entrepreneurial spirit"(an entrepreneurs'managerial confidence index). Using Mexican social security data, the analysis finds a large increase in the number of employees and total wage bill several years after the program. The paper documents large heterogeneity in the specific managerial practices that improved as a result of the consulting, but there is no singular mechanism as a panacea for all firms.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6508.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6508
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  1. Nicholas Bloom & Benn Eifert & Aprajit Mahajan & David McKenzie & John Roberts, 2011. "Does Management Matter? Evidence from India," CEP Discussion Papers dp1042, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. de Mel, Suresh & McKenzie, David J. & Woodruff, Christopher, 2009. "Measuring microenterprise profits: Must we ask how the sausage is made?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 19-31, January.
  3. Shawn Cole & Thomas Sampson & Bilal Zia, 2011. "Prices or Knowledge? What Drives Demand for Financial Services in Emerging Markets?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(6), pages 1933-1967, December.
  4. repec:oup:qjecon:v:122:y:2007:i:4:p:1351-1408 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Martin Valdivia & Dean Karlan, 2006. "Teaching Entrepreneurship: Impact of Business Training on Microfinance Clients and Institutions," Working Papers 941, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  6. Karlan, Dean S. & Osei, Robert & Osei-Akoto, Isaac & Udry, Christopher, 2012. "Agricultural Decisions after Relaxing Credit and Risk Constraints," CEPR Discussion Papers 9173, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. repec:oup:qjecon:v:122:y:2007:i:2:p:647-691 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Bruhn, Miriam & Zia, Bilal, 2011. "Stimulating managerial capital in emerging markets : the impact of business and financial literacy for young entrepreneurs," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5642, The World Bank.
  9. Miriam Bruhn & Dean Karlan & Antoinette Schoar, 2010. "What Capital Is Missing in Developing Countries?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 629-33, May.
  10. repec:oup:qjecon:v:123:y:2008:i:4:p:1329-1372 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Nick Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2010. "Why do management practices differ across firms and countries?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 47491, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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