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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

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

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

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

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

Exploring Dynamics in South African firms

South Africa has a huge unemployment problem and South African policymakers, as in many other countries, believe that the ability of small firms to create employment is a major part of the answer to this problem. But, in contrast to the situation in high and middle income countries, the reality is that nothing is known about the patterns of job creation and destruction in South Africa. What little we do know about firms is the result of small cross sectional surveys funded mainly by the World Bank around 2005.

Research Project
4 Dec 2012

Gender and Investment: Impact of the EAC Integration process on Cross Border Investment: A case Study of women investors in the EAC region

In the East African Community (EAC) region, women constitute over 50% of the population and make up at least 70% of the agricultural labour force but they play a much less significant role in the formal economy. Women have invested mainly in the informal sectors, mainly in relatively low income earning activities such as vending, wholesale and retail, and have little or no presence in in primary sectors such as manufacturing, mining, construction, transport, and finance sectors. In Kenya for instance men represent 99% and 91% of those operating construction and transport enterprises.

Research Project
4 Dec 2012

The Relation between Conflict and Private Enterprise Activity in Low Income Countries

Conflict has a strong negative effect on low-income countries' growth, while entrepreneurial activity is a key determinant of economic development. So understanding the relationship between conflict and entrepreneurial activity is extremely important. On the one hand conflict may reduce entrepreneurial activity, although there is evidence of resilience. On the other hand private entrepreneurial collaboration can either reduce or increase the gains from conflict. In the first case one could observe a virtuous cycle of private entrepreneurship, conflict reduction and growth.

Research Project
5 Dec 2012

24 Exploratory Research Grants awarded in Rounds 1-4

Project summaries for successful PEDL Exploratory Grant applications are now available online via the "Projects" page.

News
5 Dec 2012

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