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
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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 - 7 of 7
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-06) Freund, Caroline ; Hallward-Driemeier, Mary ; Rijkers, BobThis paper examines whether demands for bribes for particular government services are associated with expedited or delayed policy implementation. The "grease the wheels" hypothesis, which contends that bribes act as speed money, implies three testable predictions. First, on average, bribe requests should be negatively correlated with wait times. Second, this relationship should vary across firms, with those with the highest opportunity cost of waiting being more likely to pay and face shorter delays. Third, the role of grease should vary across countries, with benefits larger where regulatory burdens are greatest. The data are inconsistent with all three predictions. According to the preferred specifications, ceteris paribus, firms confronted with demands for bribes take approximately 1.5 times longer to get a construction permit, operating license, or electrical connection than firms that did not have to pay bribes and, respectively, 1.2 and 1.4 times longer to clear customs when exporting and importing. The results are robust to controlling for firm fixed effects and at odds with the notion that corruption enhances efficiency.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-07) Hallward-Driemeier, Mary ; Rijkers, Bob ; Waxman, AndrewUsing manufacturing plant-level census data, this paper demonstrates that minimum wage increases in Indonesia reduced gender wage gaps among production workers, with heterogeneous impacts by level of education and position of the firm in the wage distribution. Paradoxically, educated women appear to have benefitted the most, particularly in the lower half of the firm average earnings distribution. By contrast, women who did not complete primary education did not benefit on average, and even lost ground in the upper end of the earnings distribution. Minimum wage increases were thus associated with exacerbated gender pay gaps among the least educated, and reduced gender gaps among the best educated production workers. Unconditional quantile regression analysis attests to wage compression and lighthouse effects. Changes in relative employment prospects were limited.
The Impact of the Investment Climate on Employment Growth : Does Sub-Saharan Africa Mirror Other Low-Income Regions?( 2010-02-01) Aterido, Reyes ; Hallward-Driemeier, MaryUsing survey data from 86,000 enterprises in 104 countries, including 17,000 enterprises in 31 Sub-Saharan African countries, this paper finds that average enterprise-level employment growth rates are remarkably similar across regions. This is true despite significant differences in the quality of the investment climate in which these enterprises operate. Objective measures of investment climate conditions (including the number of outages, the share of firms with bank loans, and others) indicate that conditions are most challenging within Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as for smaller enterprises. However, enterprises employment in Sub-Saharan Africa is less sensitive to changes in access to infrastructure and finance relative to other low-income regions. This can be understood by looking at non-linear effects by firm size -- and the finding that these size effects are particularly strong within Sub-Saharan Africa. Although unreliable infrastructure services and inadequate access to finance generally hamper growth, in Sub-Saharan Africa they are actually associated with higher employment growth rates among micro enterprises. Although employment growth is good news in Sub-Saharan Africa, that much of the expanded employment is in small, labor-intensive, less productive enterprises raises longer-run concerns about the efficiency of the allocation of resources and aggregate productivity growth in the region.
Publication( 2010-05-01) Hallward-Driemeier, Mary ; Khun-Jush, Gita ; Pritchett, LantFirms in Africa report "regulatory and economic policy uncertainty" as a top constraint to their growth. This paper argues that often firms in Africa do not cope with policy rules, rather they face deals: firm-specific policy actions that can be influenced by firm actions (such as bribes) and characteristics (such as political connections). Using Enterprise Survey data, the paper demonstrates huge variability in reported policy actions across firms notionally facing the same policy. The within-country dispersion in firm-specific policy actions is larger than the cross-national differences in average policy. The analysis shows that variability in this policy implementation uncertainty within location-sector-size cells is correlated with firm growth rates. These measures of implementation variability are more strongly related to lower firm employment growth than are measures of "average" policy action. The paper shows that the de jure measures such as Doing Business indicators are virtually uncorrelated with ex-post firm-level responses, further evidence that deals rather than rules prevail in Africa. Strikingly, the gap between de jure and de facto conditions grows with the formal regulatory burden. The evidence also shows more burdensome processes open up more space for making deals; firms may not incur the official costs of compliance, but they still pay to avoid them. Finally, measures of institutional capacity and better governance are closely associated with perceived consistency in implementation.
Publication( 2011-11-01) Hallward-Driemeier, Mary ; Rijkers, BobUsing Indonesian manufacturing census data (1991-2001), this paper rejects the hypothesis that the East Asian crisis unequivocally improved the reallocative process. The correlation between productivity and employment growth did not strengthen and the crisis induced the exit of relatively productive firms. The attenuation of the relationship between productivity and survival was stronger in provinces with comparatively lower reductions in minimum wages, but not due to reduced entry, changing loan conditions, or firms connected to the Suharto regime suffering disproportionately. On the bright side, firms that entered during the crisis were relatively more productive, which helped mitigate the reduction in aggregate productivity.
Publication( 2011-09-01) Hallward-Driemeier, Mary ; Rijkers, Bob ; Waxman, AndrewIn a crisis, do employers place the burden of adjustment disproportionately on female employees? Relying on household and labor force data, existing studies of the distributional impact of crises have not been able to address this question. This paper uses Indonesia's census of manufacturing firms to analyze employer responses and to identify mechanisms by which gender differences in impact may arise, notably differential treatment of men and women within firms as well as gender sorting across firms that varied in their exposure to the crisis. On average, women experienced higher job losses than their male colleagues within the same firm. However, the aggregate adverse effect of such differential treatment was more than offset by women being disproportionately employed in firms hit relatively less hard by the crisis. The 0 hypothesis that there were no gender differences in wage adjustment is not rejected. Analyzing how employer characteristics impact labor market adjustment patterns contributes to the understanding of who is vulnerable in volatile times.
How Business Is Done and the ‘Doing Business’ Indicators : The Investment Climate When Firms Have Climate Control( 2011-02-01) Hallward-Driemeier, Mary ; Pritchett, LantThis paper examines de jure and de facto measures of regulations, finding the relationship between them is neither one for one, nor linear. "Doing Business" provides indicators of the formal time and costs associated with fully complying with regulations. Enterprise Surveys report the actual experiences of a wide range of firms. First, there are significant variations in reported times to complete the same transaction by firms facing the same formal policy. Second, regulatory compliance appears "under water" as firms report actual times much less than the Doing Business reported days. Third, the data reveal substantial differences between favored and disfavored firms in the same location. Favored firms show minimal variation, so Doing Business has little predictive power for the times they report. For disfavored firms, the variation is greater, although still not significantly correlated with Doing Business. Fourth, where multiple Enterprise Surveys are available, there is little association over time, with reductions in Doing Business days as likely to be accompanied by increases in Enterprise Surveys days. Comparing these two types of measures suggests very different ways of thinking about policy versus policy implementation, what "a climate" for firms in a country might mean, and what the options for "policy reform" really are.