03. Journals

2,963 items available

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These are journal articles published in World Bank journals as well as externally by World Bank authors.

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    Can Wage Subsidies Boost Employment in the Wake of an Economic Crisis? Evidence from Mexico
    (Taylor and Francis, 2020-01-31) Bruhn, Miriam
    This paper measures the employment effect of a program in Mexico that granted firms wage subsidies during the recent economic crisis. I use monthly administrative data at the industry level, along with Euclidean distance matching to construct groups of eligible and ineligible durable goods manufacturing industries that display statistically identical preprogram trends in employment. Difference-in-difference results show a positive but not statistically significant effect of the wage subsidies on employment during the program’s eight-month duration. The size of the effect increases to 18 per cent after the program ended and the results indicate that employment after the program recovered faster in eligible industries than in ineligible industries. Additional analysis suggests that the program did not incentivize firms to retain workers with job-specific skills as originally intended. Instead, the payment of subsidy funds, which only happened towards the end of the program, seems to have provided liquidity for hiring back workers.
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    The Minimal Impact of a Large-Scale Financial Education Program in Mexico City
    (Elsevier, 2014-03-12) Bruhn, Miriam ; Lara Ibarra, Gabriel ; McKenzie, David
    We conduct randomized experiments around a large-scale financial literacy course in Mexico City to understand the reasons for low take-up among a general population, and to measure the impact of this financial education course. Our results suggest that reputational, logistical, and specific forms of behavioral constraints are not the main reasons for limited participation, and that people do respond to higher benefits from attending in the form of monetary incentives. Attending training results in a 9 percentage point increase in financial knowledge, and a 9 percentage point increase in some self-reported measures of saving, but in no impact on borrowing behavior. Administrative data suggests that any savings impact may be short-lived. Our findings indicate that this course which has served over 300,000 people and has expanded throughout Latin America has minimal impact on marginal participants, and that people are likely making optimal choices not to attend this financial education course.
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    License to Sell : The Effect of Business Registration Reform on Entrepreneurial Activity in Mexico
    (MIT Press, 2011-02) Bruhn, Miriam
    This paper estimates the economic effects of a recent reform that simplified business entry regulation in Mexico. The reform was introduced in different municipalities at different points in time. Using microlevel data, I find that the reform increased the number of registered businesses by 5%. This increase was due to former wage earners' opening businesses. Former unregistered business owners were not more likely to register their business after the reform. The reform also increased wage employment by 2.2%. Finally, the results imply that the competition from new entrants decreased the income of incumbent businesses by 3%.