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Self-Employment Within the Firm

Vittorio Bassi, Jung Hyuk Lee, Alessandra Peter, Tommaso Porzio, Ritwika Sen and Esau Tugume

No 31740, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: We collect time-use data for entrepreneurs and employees in a sample of 1,000 manufacturing firms in Uganda, representative of both small and large production units. We find that even the largest firms in this setting more closely resemble a collection of self-employed individuals sharing a production space than a modern firm in which labor is specialized. We interpret the evidence through an equilibrium model of occupational choice and task assignment within the firm. The estimated model shows that there are only small productivity gains from having talented entrepreneurs run large firms. As a result, given the currently used production technology, classic development interventions such as wage subsidies or capital grants would have muted effects on firm size and aggregate productivity.

JEL-codes: L23 L25 O11 O14 O17 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2023-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-bec, nep-ent, nep-iue and nep-lma
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