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Credit Constraints and Risk in Commodity Supply Chains in Sierra Leone and Liberia

After decades of political instability and civil war in Sierra Leone and Liberia, the development of a vibrant private sector is a crucial element of both countries’ strategies to prevent a return to conflict. In particular, both governments have placed priority on supporting the growth of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) as an engine for employment and social mobility.

Research Project
4 Dec 2012

Highways, Firm Productivity, and Allocative Efficiency in India

Public investment in infrastructure is often recommended as a means of promoting economic activity. Identifying the impact of infrastructure investment on economic activity is, however, very complicated. The placement of new infrastructure may itself be endogenous, which makes it difficult to clearly quantify causal effects. Areas with better roads may grow faster, but it is equally possible that the economic potential of the region dictated where roads were placed. It is also possible that roads are placed into struggling regions as an effort to prop up the local economy.

Research Project
4 Dec 2012

Exit from Informality: Carrot and Stick

In developing countries, informality is widespread amongst firms. In Bangladesh, for example, a recent survey suggests that about 70% of firms are not registered with the Tax Authority. There does seem to be a negative relationship between informality and productivity, but the direction of causality is unclear: less productive firms may choose to be informal, or there may be something about informality that makes firms less productive.

Research Project
4 Dec 2012

Brewing Success: Market Incentives to Improve The Quality of Kenyan Coffee

Coffee is Kenya's primary agricultural export and is an important source of employment and livelihoods in rural Kenya. While Kenya is world-renowned for fine Mild Arabica coffee of high average grade, the quality of Kenyan coffee is extremely uneven. Shortcomings in quality have sometimes been attributed to the cooperative nature of smallholder coffee sales.

Research Project
4 Dec 2012

The Impact of Exporting: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment

The evidence clearly suggests that exporting enterprises are more productive than enterprises that only sell domestically. The traditional explanation is that since export market participation is costly, the best enterprises self-select into export markets. Many policymakers believe, however, that export-oriented growth raises productivity through a variety of channels, such as learning from buyers, the need to exert greater effort in competitive foreign markets and the ability to exploit economies of scale.

Research Project
4 Dec 2012

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