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
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
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations View citations in EconPapers (3) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
http://www-wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSContentSer ... ered/PDF/WPS5632.pdf (application/pdf)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
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 ().