EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

How can we learn whether firm policies are working in africa ? challenges (and solutions?) for experiments and structural models

David McKenzie ()

No 5632, Policy Research Working Paper Series from The World Bank

Abstract: Firm productivity is low in African countries, prompting governments to try a number of active policies to improve it. Yet despite the millions of dollars spent on these policies, we are far from a situation where we know whether many of them are yielding the desired payoffs. This paper establishes some basic facts about the number and heterogeneity of firms in different sub-Saharan African countries and discusses their implications for experimental and structural approaches towards trying to estimate firm policy impacts. It shows that the typical firm program such as a matching grant scheme or business training program involves only 100 to 300 firms, which are often very heterogeneous in terms of employment and sales levels. As a result, standard experimental designs will lack any power to detect reasonable sized treatment impacts, while structural models which assume common production technologies and few missing markets will be ill-suited to capture the key constraints firms face. Nevertheless, the author suggests a way forward which involves focusing on a more homogeneous sub-sample of firms and collecting a lot more data on them than is typically collected.

Keywords: Microfinance; Small Scale Enterprise; E-Business; ICT Policy and Strategies; Banks&Banking Reform (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr and nep-dev
Date: 2011-04-01
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www-wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSContentSer ... ered/PDF/WPS5632.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: http://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5632

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Policy Research Working Paper Series from The World Bank
Address: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433
Contact information at EDIRC.
Series data maintained by Roula I. Yazigi ().

 
Page updated 2014-08-17
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5632