Equitable Growth, Finance, and Institutions
Author Name Variants
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 - 10 of 16
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.
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( 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.
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.
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(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2012-10-04) Hallward-Driemeier, Mary ; Hasan, TazeenThis book looks at the effect of legal and economic rights on women's economic opportunities. It focuses on entrepreneurship because women in Africa are active entrepreneurs, and the links between property rights and the ability to enter contracts in one's own name affect entrepreneurial activities. The laws that are the focus of this book are not business laws and regulations, which are generally gender blind and presuppose that individuals can own property or enter into contracts. Instead, the book examines family, inheritance, and land laws, which oft en restrict these rights in ways that hurt women. This book surveys constitutions and statutes in all 47 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to document where gender gaps in these laws impinge on women's legal capacity, property rights, or both. The book also looks at some labor law issues, such as restrictions on the types of industries or hours of work in which women may engage and provisions for equal pay for work of equal value. These laws affect women as employees and influence the attractiveness of wage employment versus entrepreneurship. They were also selected because they affect the choice of enterprise women may run. The equal pay for work of equal value provisions are also of interest as an indicator of the recognition of women's broader economic rights. This book provides a series of indicators that show whether a country does or does not provide particular legal provisions. Several points are worth emphasizing in interpreting these indicators. First, the indicators are binary; there is no attempt to differentiate between small and large gender gaps. Second, the indicators are not used to generate an index or otherwise aggregate the indicators; no weights are given to differentiate the relative importance of different sets of laws. Third, the indicators reflect whether certain legal provisions are recognized in a country or not; because the link between the indicator and gender gaps is not always straightforward, care must be taken in making value judgments. Although some indicators reveal that women are treated equally or identify gender differences in treatment, others do not. Although recognition of these sources of law can have implications for women's rights, it does not necessarily imply that women's rights are stronger or weaker. Conversely, the inclusion of some protections for women's rights may reflect not the strong standing of women but rather the fact that gender equality is not seen as axiomatic and needs to be explicitly stated. Second and third chapters focus on formal rights and how they have been upheld in court decisions. Fourth chapter examines the gap between laws on the books and practice on the ground. Fifth chapter looks at how both the substance of law and women's access to justice issues can be improved to expand women's ability to pursue economic opportunities.
Strengthening Economic Rights and Women's Occupational Choice : The Impact of Reforming Ethiopia's Family Law(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-11) Hallward-Driemeier, Mary ; Gajigo, OusmanThis paper evaluates the impact of strengthening legal rights on the types of economic opportunities that are pursued. Ethiopia changed its family law, requiring both spouses' consent in the administration of marital property, removing the ability of a spouse to deny permission for the other to work outside the home, and raising women's minimum age of marriage. Thus both access to resources and the removal of restrictions on employment served to strengthen women's bargaining position within the household and their ability to pursue economic opportunities. Although this reform now applies nationally, it was initially rolled out in the two chartered cities and three of Ethiopia's nine regions. Using nationally representative household surveys from just prior to the reform and five years later allows for a difference-in-difference estimation of the reform's impact. The analysis finds that women were relatively more likely to work in occupations that require work outside the home, employ more educated workers, and in paid and full-time jobs where the reform had been enacted, controlling for time and location effects. As the relative increase in women's participation in these activities was 15-24 percent higher in areas where the reform was carried out, the magnitude of the impact is significant too.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2001-01) Hallward-Driemeier, MaryResearchers have decried the limited supply of objective, comparable firm-level data from developing countries. The author describes a new database that helps fill this information gap. The database has detailed records on 4000 firms operating in Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand. A comparable survey instrument and sampling methodology was used in each country, and all five studies were carried out simultaneously. The data cover three years (1996-98), allowing for measurements of firm performance before and immediately after the East Asian financial crisis. The questionnaire focused on measuring the impact of the regional financial crisis at the microeconomic level and understanding the longer-run determinants of productivity, employment practices, and financial structure. This database--the first step in the important Firm Analysis and Competitiveness Surveys initiative that the World Bank is spearheading--will be joined by additional country databases. The aim is to fill the gap in much-needed microeconomic evidence using comparable instruments.
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.