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Economic transformation in Africa from the bottom up: Evidence from Tanzania

Xinshen Diao, Josaphat Kweka and Margaret McMillan ()

No 1603, IFPRI discussion papers from International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Abstract: At roughly 4 percent per year, labor productivity in Tanzania has grown more rapidly over the past 14 years than at any other time in recent history. Employment growth has also been strong, keeping up with population growth at roughly 2.5 percent per year; the bulk of employment growth (90 percent) has been in the nonagricultural sector. However, the vast majority of this nonagricultural employment growth has occurred in informal sector. Using Tanzania’s first nationally representative survey of micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises, this paper shows that firms in the informal sector contributed roughly half a percentage point to economywide labor productivity growth in Tanzania between 2002 and 2012. However, virtually all of the labor productivity growth contributed by informal firms came from a small subset of firms called the “in-between firms.†This paper considers attributes of the in-between firms that could be used for targeting financial and business services to firms with the potential to grow. This paper finds two salient characteristics of in-between firms that might lend themselves to targeting—their owners are more likely to keep written accounts and more likely to keep their savings in formal bank accounts.

Keywords: TANZANIA; EAST AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA, structural change; labour productivity; labor productivity; informal sector; business enterprises; enterprises; accounts; accounting; banking; finance, informal economy, (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-iue
Date: 2017
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