"Aid providers often describe small firms as 'job creators'. But what types of jobs do they create? Drawing on enterprise survey data for nine African countries and panel data for Ethiopia we find that small and large formal sector firms create similar numbers of net jobs. Small firms, however, have much higher turnover of employment and pay persistently lower wages. To create more 'good' jobs aid should target the constraints to the growth of firms of all sizes. Improving the 'investment climate' and new programs to increase firms' capabilities - through, for example, management training - offer greater prospects for employment creation."
"There is growing consensus that a key difference between the U.S. and developing economies is that the latter exhibit slower employment growth over the life cycle of the average business. At the same time, the rapid post entry growth in the U.S. is driven by an "up or out dynamic". We track manufacturing establishments in Colombia vs. the US and find that slower average life cycle growth in Colombia is driven by a less enthusiastic contribution of extraordinary growth plants and less dynamic selection of young underperforming plants. As a consequence, the size distribution of nonmicro plants exhibits more concentration in small-old plants in Colombia, both in unweighted and employment-weighted bases. These findings point to a shortage of high-growth entrepreneurship and a relatively high likelihood of long-run survival for small, likely unproductive plants, as two key elements at the heart of the development problem. An extreme concentration of resources in micro plants is the other distinguishing feature of the Colombian manufacturing sector vis a vis the US."
"Understanding what works to improve youth labour market outcomes is of paramount importance and a development priority for all countries and regions. Youth represent a vast potential for inclusive growth and development. If they are given the opportunity to build appropriate skills and access decent employment, they can help to accelerate progress on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and engage in meaningful work that benefits them, their families and society as a whole. Unfortunately, decent jobs are not a feasible prospect for all young women and men. Today, over 73 million young people are unemployed worldwide. Youth unemployment stands at a much higher level than the average unemployment rate for adults, in some cases over three times as high. Moreover, two out of five young people in the labour force are either working but poor or unemployed. The youth employment challenge is therefore not only about job creation, but also - and especially - about enhancing the quality of jobs for youth."
"For the past two years I have been the chair of the research committee of a multi-country survey effort known as the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) project, which has begun to make headway in understanding how different types of entrepreneurship affect development. The starting point has been to distinguish “necessity entrepreneurship,” which is having to become an entrepreneur because you have no better option, from “opportunity entrepreneurship,” which is an active choice to start a new enterprise based on the perception that an unexploited or underexploited business opportunity exists. Analyzing data gathered by GEM researchers in 11 countries, Atilla Varga and I have found that effects on economic growth and development of necessity and opportunity entrepreneurship vary greatly. We found that necessity entrepreneurship has no effect on economic development while opportunity entrepreneurship has a positive and significant effect.
Analyzing data gathered by GEM researchers in 11 countries, Atilla Varga and I have found that effects on economic growth and development of necessity and opportunity entrepreneurship vary greatly. We found that necessity entrepreneurship has no effect on economic development while opportunity entrepreneurship has a positive and significant effect."
"Low female labor market participation is a problem many developed countries have to face. Beside activating inactive women, one possible solution is to support the re-integration of unemployed women. Due to female-specific labor market constraints (preferences for flexible working hours, discrimination), this is a difficult task, and the question arises whether active labor market policies (ALMP) are an appropriate tool to help. It has been shown that the effectiveness of traditional ALMPs – which focus on the integration in dependent (potentially inflexible) employment-is positive but limited. Starting their own business might give women more independence and flexibility to reconcile work and family and increase labor market participation. Based on long-term informative data, we find that start-up programs persistently integrate former unemployed women into the labor market, and the impact on fertility is less detrimental than for traditional ALMP programs."
"We organise a field experiment with smallholder farmers in Rwanda to measure the impact of financial literacy training on financial knowledge and behaviour. The training increased financial literacy of participants, changed their savings and borrowing behaviour and had a positive effect on the new business start-up. However, it failed to have a significant (short-term) impact on income. Using a two-stage regression framework, we identify enhanced financial literacy as one of the important factors explaining behavioural changes. We also test whether financial knowledge spillovers from trained farmers to their peers in local village banks but find no evidence for that."
"Special attention has been given to untie the constraints of Micro and Small Enterprises in Ethiopia for they are important vehicles to address the challenges of unemployment, economic growth and equity in the country. The government is implementing different support service programs, in the forms of financial and business development, in different parts of the country. This study is aimed at evaluating economic impact of MSEs support service programs on enterprise sales, employment and capital asset formation in Dire Dawa Administration, Ethiopia. Propensity Score Matching is employed to estimate the impact of support service program. The result revealed that the program resulted in average increment of monthly sales by 28%, employee level by 42%, and capital asset formation by 60%. It is, therefore, indispensable to strengthen and expand the support service program to non participant enterprises by giving special attention to the major problems that participant enterprises are currently facing."
"Recent research has suggested that the reduction of entry regulation can promote firm entry and job creation, but little is known about the quality of firms and jobs created through these reforms. To shed light on this question, we employ data from Portugal, a country which implemented one of the most dramatic and thorough policies of entry deregulation in the industrialized world. The impact of these major changes can be traced with a matched employer-employee database that provides unusually rich information on the quality of founders and employees associated with the new firms.
Our assessment indicates that the short term consequences of the reform were just as one would predict with a standard economic model of entrepreneurship: The reform resulted in increased firm formation and employment, but mostly among "marginal firms" that would have been most readily deterred by existing heavy entry regulations. These marginal firms were typically small, owned by relatively poorly-educated entrepreneurs, operating in the low-tech sector (agriculture, construction, and retail trade). These firms were also less likely to survive their first two years than comparable firms that entered prior to the reform. The social impact of entry deregulation may be limited by the quality of the firms it creates."
"Most employment in low and middle income countries is in micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises, governments, non-governmental organizations and donors spend on targeted programs and broader policies to enhance employment creation in these firms. But despite these efforts, not much is known about which of these interventions are really effective. This systematic review synthesizes the existing evidence on the employment impact of these programs. The results show that the effects have so far been very modest."
"This paper studies the impact of the Brazilian Arranjos Productivos Locais (APL) policy, a cluster development policy, on small and medium enterprises' (SMEs) performance. Using firm-level data on SMEs for the years 2002-2009, this paper combines fixed effects with reweighting methods to estimate both the direct and the indirect causal effects of participating in the APL policy on employment growth, value of total exports, and likelihood of exporting. Our results show that APL policy generates a positive direct impact on the three outcomes of interest. They also show evidence of short-term negative spillovers effects on employment in the first year after the policy implementation and positive spillovers on export outcomes in the medium and long term. Thus, our findings highlight the importance of accounting for the timing and gestation periods of the effects on firm performances when assessing the impact of clusters policies."