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Heterogeneous Effects of the de jure and de facto Business Environment: Findings from Multiple Data Sets on the Business Environment

Christine Zhenwei Qiang, He Wang and Lixin Xu

No 9115, Policy Research Working Paper Series from The World Bank

Abstract: Using multiple sources of national- and firm-level data around the world, this paper investigates how the effects of the business environment depend on whether the measure is de jure or de facto, and how business environment effects differ by ownership and size. The paper compares estimates of business environment effects from three data sources, and modifies the priors on the relative importance of various elements of the business environment. Among four aspects of the business environment, at least two sets are robust and a third set does not contradict the other two: access to finance, electricity, internet, and human capital. The effects of de jure business environment indicators on firm performances depend on measures of contract enforcement. Foreign-owned firms benefit more from the maintenance of physical safety and ease in obtaining construction permits, and gain competitive advantage in productivity when domestic infrastructure or access to finance is worse. Relatively small firms benefit more from corruption control, basic and modern infrastructure, human capital, and land access. Relatively large firms benefit more from physical safety. Access to finance is important for the expansion of smaller firms and the productivity of large firms.

Keywords: Business Environment; Access to Finance; Energy Policies&Economics; Labor Markets (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-01-21
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-bec and nep-eff
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