Equitable Growth, Finance, and Institutions
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Fields of Specialization
Private sector development, Firm dynamics, Firm Productivity, Entrepreneurship, Women's economic empowerment, Investment climate, Gender, Development Economics
Equitable Growth, Finance, and Institutions
Externally Hosted Work
Last updated January 31, 2023
Mary Hallward-Driemeier is Senior Economic Adviser in the Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions Vice Presidency at the World Bank, overseeing its analytical agenda on private sector development. She joined the World Bank in 1997 as a Young Professional. She has published widely on firm productivity, the economics of technological change and the impact of crises. She leads the Jobs and Economic Transformation special theme for the International Development Association (IDA). She has served as advisor to two World Bank’s Chief Economists, co-manager of the Jobs Group, and Deputy Director for the World Development Report 2005: A Better Investment Climate for Everyone. Her previous books include Trouble in the Making? The Future of Manufacturing-Led Development (with Gaurav Nayyar) and Enterprising Women: Expanding Economic Opportunities in Africa. Mary received her AB from Harvard, her MSc in Development Economics from Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, and her PhD in Economics from MIT.
Publication Search Results
Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
Publication( 2009-10-01) Hallward-Driemeier, Mary ; Thompson, FraserThis paper examines the impact of firm productivity and local industrial structure on firm entry and exit in Morocco between 1985 and 2001. There is strong evidence of productivity exerting a market-cleansing role. Less productive firms are found to be more likely to exit - and locations with more productive firms attract higher rates of new firm entry. The effect of productivity operates not only in an absolute sense; a firm s relative productivity or distance to the local sector frontier matters too. First, large productivity gaps are associated with higher rates of exit, while new firms are attracted to locations with small productivity gaps. Second, local competition increases the probability of exit, although it does not encourage entry. Third, there is evidence of scale or agglomeration effects that increase firm turnover. Fourth, measures of sector diversity are not associated with lower turnover. Fifth, the geographic level at which agglomeration and competition effects are defined matters differently for exit than entry. For exit, the provincial measures are strong, while those for communes are weaker. For entry, it is the local productivity at the commune level that is more significant. This implies that competitive pressures are less geographically constrained while the potential benefits of agglomeration and spill-overs are indeed more local.
Publication( 2009-10-01) Hallward-Driemeier, MarySize, age, sector, and productivity are commonly cited as factors determining a firm s survival. However, there are several dimensions of the investment climate in which the firm operates that affect whether it continues in business or exits. This paper uses new panel data from 27 Eastern European and Central Asian countries to test the importance of five areas of the business climate on firm exit: the efficiency of government services, access to finance, the extent of corruption or cronyism, the strength of property rights, and the degree of competition. The paper finds that weaknesses in these areas do affect the probability of firm exit largely in ways that undermine the Schumpeterian cleansing role of exit in raising overall productivity. Greater costs and regulatory burdens raise the probability that more productive firms exit, while less developed financial and legal institutions mitigate forces that would otherwise push less productive firms to exit. Thus, the more productive firms stand to gain the most from improvements in the investment climate, whether that is lowering transaction costs or improving market mechanisms. This holds both within countries and across countries. The impact of a particular investment climate measure can also differ significantly by type of firm, with the focus given to firm size. The differential impact on size can be significant at a size cutoff of 10 or more employees. As these are the firms that are near the threshold of many regulatory requirements, the implications are not just with regard to whether a firm remains in operation, but whether it does so in the formal sector.
Comparing Apples with....Apples : How to Make (More) Sense of Subjective Rankings of Constraints to Business( 2009-09-01) Hallward-Driemeier, Mary ; Aterido, ReyesThe use of expert or qualitative surveys to rank countries business investment conditions is widespread. However, within the economic literature there are concerns about measurement error and endogeneity based on characteristics of the respondents, raising questions about how well the data reflect the underlying reality they are trying to measure. This paper examines these concerns using data from 79,000 firms in 105 countries. The findings show that first, qualitative rankings correlate well with quantitative measures of the business environment, using both quantitative measures from within the survey and from external sources. Second, there are systematic variations in perceptions based on firm characteristics - focusing in particular on size and growth performance. However, it is not that an optimistic view of the business environment is simply the expression of a firm s own performance. Rather, firm size and performance affect the relative importance of certain constraints, particularly in areas such as finance, time with officials/inspectors, corruption, and access to reliable electricity. The results also show that much of the variation in subjective responses by firm types is largely due to differences in the objective conditions across firm types. There is little evidence that size and performance have non-linear effects in how constraining a given objective condition is reported to be. Overall, concerns about endogeneity remain in using business environment indicators to explain firm performance, but this stems primarily from the fact that who you are and how well you are doing can affect the conditions you face rather than whether the indicator used is qualitative or quantitative.
Publication( 2009-08-01) Aterido, Reyes ; Hallward-Driemeier, Mary ; Pages, CarmenUsing data on more than 56,000 enterprises in 90 countries, this paper finds that objective conditions in the business environment vary substantially across firms of different sizes and that there are important non-linearities in their impact on employment growth. The paper focuses on four areas: access to finance, business regulations, corruption, and infrastructure. The results, particularly on the impacts of finance and corruption on growth, depend on whether and how the analysis accounts for the possible endogeneity of the business environment. Controlling for endogeneity revises the finding that small firms benefit most from access to finance, particularly for sources of finance associated with investment and growth. The findings are also sensitive to how small is defined. Differentiating micro (less than 10 employees) from other small firms shows that, while small firms can be disadvantaged in such an environment, micro firms tend to be proportionally less affected by a weak business climate and, on occasion, it can help them to grow. Overall, allowing different size classifications provides insights into the impact of the business environment that are lost in more aggregate analyses.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, D.C., 2004-06) Dollar, David ; Hallward-Driemeier, Mary ; Mengistae, TayeDrawing on recently completed firm-level surveys in Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Honduras, India, Nicaragua, Pakistan, and Peru, this paper investigates the relationship between investment climate and international integration. These standardized surveys of large, random samples of firms in common sectors reveal how firms experience bottlenecks and delays in hard infrastructure such as power and telecom as well as in soft infrastructure such as customs administration. The authors focus primarily on measures of the time or monetary cost of different bottlenecks (e.g., days to clear goods through customs, days to get a telephone line, sales lost to power outages). For many of these costs, the obstacles are lower in China than in the South Asian or Latin American countries. There is also systematic variation across cities within countries. The authors estimate a probit function for the probability that a randomly chosen firm is foreign-invested and a separate probit for the probability that a randomly chosen firm is an exporter. These measures of international integration are higher where investment climate is better. For locations to take advantage of opportunities in the international market, they need good infrastructure and a sound regulatory environment. The interaction of openness and sound investment climate creates a good environment for investment and production. This paper helps explain why China has been so successful over the past decade, both in terms of integration and of rapid growth, while other countries have had varied success.
Do Bilateral Investment Treaties Attract Foreign Direct Investment? Only a Bit ... and They Could Bite(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2003-08) Hallward-Driemeier, MaryTouted as an important commitment device that attracts foreign investors, the number of bilateral investment treaties (BITs) ratified by developing countries has grown dramatically. The author tests empirically whether BITs have actually had an important role in increasing the foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to signatory countries. While half of OECD FDI into developing countries by 2000 was covered by a BIT, this increase is accounted for by additional country pairs entering into agreements rather than signatory hosts gaining significant additional FDI. The results also indicate that such treaties act more as complements than as substitutes for good institutional quality and local property rights, the rationale often cited by developing countries for ratifying BITs. The relevance of these findings is heightened not only by the proliferation of such treaties, but by recent high profile legal cases. These cases show that the rights given to foreign investors may not only exceed those enjoyed by domestic investors, but expose policymakers to potentially large-scale liabilities and curtail the feasibility of different reform options. Formalizing relationships and protecting against dynamic inconsistency problems are still important, but the results should caution policymakers to look closely at the terms of agreements.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2003-03) Hallward-Driemeier, Mary ; Wallsten, Scott ; Xu, Lixin ColinThe importance of a country's "investment climate" for economic growth has recently received much attention. The authors address the general lack of appropriate data for measuring the investment climate and its effects. The authors use a new survey of 1,500 Chinese enterprises in five cities to more precisely define and measure components of the investment climate, highlight the importance of firm-level data for rigorous analysis of the investment climate, and investigate empirically the effects of this comprehensive set of measures on firm performance in China. Overall, their firm-level analysis reveals that the main determinants of firm performance in China are international integration, entry and exit, labor market issues, technology use, and access to external finance.
Creative Destruction and Policy Reforms : Changing Productivity Effects of Firm Turnoverin Moroccan Manufacturing( 2009-10-01) Hallward-Driemeier, Mary ; Thompson, FraserHow important is firm turnover to national productivity growth? The literature points to the contribution of creative destruction being strongest in more developed countries or where market institutions are strongest. This paper looks at the case of Morocco, spanning 16 years, during which reform initiatives aiming to strengthen market forces were introduced. The paper argues that it is important to take into account i) the timing of how decompositions are structured (capturing the effects of high growth among young firms as part of the benefit of increased entry) and ii) the additional indirect impacts of firm dynamics on agglomeration externalities and competition. The paper shows there are striking differences in the productivity paths of entering and exiting firms compared with incumbents, and that restricting the time horizon of productivity decompositions to the actual year of entry or exit underestimates the productivity effects of turnover. Although it has been hypothesized that conducting decompositions over longer horizons would increase the positive contribution of net turnover, this is not the case in Morocco as losses from exiting firms rise too. Nor has the net contribution of turnover increased with market reforms; if anything, the contribution has declined over time. But the allocation of resources has improved. Both technical and allocative efficiency have risen since the mid-1990s. The paper also shows that firm turnover affects productivity through additional channels. It is closely correlated with measures of agglomeration that are associated with higher rates of exit among unproductive firms, and turnover itself is positively associated with subsequent productivity growth of incumbents.