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Organizing knowledge to compete : impacts of capacity building programs on firm organization

Listed author(s):
  • Vargas Da Cruz,Marcio Jose
  • Bussolo,Maurizio
  • Iacovone,Leonardo

A growing literature aiming at explaining differences across firms in productivity and access to global export markets has focused on the internal organization of firms. This paper contributes to this literature by evaluating the impact of a program that focuses on enhancing competitiveness of small and medium enterprises in Brazil by providing coaching and consulting on management and production practices. Specifically, the paper tests whether the program induces treated firms to reorganize knowledge by adding more layers of different skills and competencies to their workforces. Using a unique firm-level dataset, the number of layers of the firms are compared before and after the program. The impact of the program is identified by relying on an instrumental variable approach, exploiting the quasi-experiment roll-out of its implementation, which was carried out at different times across Brazilian regions. The analysis finds that the program had an effect and that this effect is heterogeneous. The program is particularly effective in promoting the reorganization of firms with initially fewer layers. The results confirm another finding of the literature, namely that in re-organized firms inequality of wages increases, as firms pay higher wages in added higher layers than in pre-existing ones. Finally, these results are used to discuss how the change in firms'organization is positively correlated with export performance.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 7640.

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Date of creation: 14 Apr 2016
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:7640
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  1. Marc J. Melitz & Daniel Trefler, 2012. "Gains from Trade When Firms Matter," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 91-118, Spring.
  2. Elhanan Helpman & Oleg Itskhoki & Marc-Andreas Muendler & Stephen J. Redding, 0. "Trade and Inequality: From Theory to Estimation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(1), pages 357-405.
  3. Nicholas Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2007. "Measuring and Explaining Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1351-1408.
  4. Sofronis K. Clerides & Saul Lach & James R. Tybout, 1998. "Is Learning by Exporting Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico, and Morocco," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 903-947.
  5. Chad Syverson, 2011. "What Determines Productivity?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 326-365, June.
  6. Nicholas Bloom & Aprajit Mahajan & David McKenzie & John Roberts, 2010. "Why Do Firms in Developing Countries Have Low Productivity?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 619-623, May.
  7. Lorenzo Caliendo & Ferdinando Monte & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2015. "The Anatomy of French Production Hierarchies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 123(4), pages 809-852.
  8. Giordano Mion & Luca David Opromolla, 2011. "Managers’ Mobility, Trade Status, and Wages," Working Papers w201104, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  9. Nicholas Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2010. "Why Do Management Practices Differ across Firms and Countries?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 203-224, Winter.
  10. Hausman, Jerry & Hall, Bronwyn H & Griliches, Zvi, 1984. "Econometric Models for Count Data with an Application to the Patents-R&D Relationship," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 909-938, July.
  11. James J. Heckman, 2001. "Micro Data, Heterogeneity, and the Evaluation of Public Policy: Nobel Lecture," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(4), pages 673-748, August.
  12. repec:oup:qjecon:v:128:y:2012:i:1:p:1-51 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  14. Lorenzo Caliendo & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2012. "The Impact of Trade on Organization and Productivity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1393-1467.
  15. Roberts, Mark J & Tybout, James R, 1997. "The Decision to Export in Colombia: An Empirical Model of Entry with Sunk Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 545-564, September.
  16. Luis Garicano, 2000. "Hierarchies and the Organization of Knowledge in Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 874-904, October.
  17. Vargas Da Cruz,Marcio Jose, 2014. "Do export promotion agencies promote new exporters ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7004, The World Bank.
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