Research page

The project aims at better understanding the determinants and constraints of private sector development in low income countries. The current knowledge is mainly provided by randomized interventions on cross-sections of enterprises. While these studies are useful in assessing the impact of a broad range of interventions (e.g. the importance of accounting, financial literacy, technology adoption, etc.) on the average firm, it often remains a puzzle why interventions have a limited impact (either in the short or in the long run), and how dependent they are on the specific context of the study. Our proposal intends to take a step back, and to follow a large number of small enterprises (5 to 20 employees) in different contexts (Bangladesh and Uganda). The purpose is twofold. First, during one year, we want to gather monthly information from the businesses to better understand their lifecycle. Second, based on this information, we will define and test interventions that are tailored to the needs of the enterprises to reduce their volatility or to help them grow.

Partners: Lore Vandewalle (Graduate Institute), Julia Cajal-Grossi (Graduate Institute), Jonathan Morduch (NYU), Tim Ogden (NYU) and Christopher Woodruff (Oxford)