Business Practices in Small Firms in Developing Countries

Management has a large effect on the productivity of large firms. But does management matter in micro and small firms, where the majority of the labor force in developing countries works? We develop 26 questions that measure business practices in marketing, stock-keeping, recordkeeping, and financial planning. These questions have been administered in surveys in Bangladesh, Chile, Ghana, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria and Sri Lanka. We show that variation in business practices explains as much of the variation in outcomes – sales, profits and labor productivity and TFP – in microenterprises as in larger enterprises. Panel data from three countries indicate that better business practices predict higher survival rates and faster sales growth. The association of business practices with firm outcomes is robust to including numerous measures of the owner’s human capital. We find that owners with higher human capital, children of entrepreneurs, and firms with employees employ better business practices.


Issue Date:
Feb 02 2016
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
Record Identifier:
http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/269583
Language:
English
Total Pages:
46
JEL Codes:
O12; L26; M20; O17; M53
Series Statement:
WERP 1112




 Record created 2018-03-19, last modified 2018-03-19

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