Islam, Asif M.

Development Economics, Enterprise Analysis Group
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Development Economics, Enterprise Analysis Group
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Last updated: January 31, 2024
Citations 65 Scopus

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 17
  • Publication
    Does Paternity Leave Matter for Female Employment in Developing Economies?: Evidence from Firm Data
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-03) Amin, Mohammad; Islam, Asif; Sakhonchik, Alena
    For a sample of 53 developing countries, the results show that women's employment among private firms is significantly higher in countries that mandate paternity leave versus those that do not. A conservative estimate suggests an increase of 6.8 percentage points in the proportion of women workers associated with the mandating of paternity leave.
  • Publication
    The Time Cost of Documents to Trade
    (Taylor and Francis, 2015-06-04) Amin, Mohammad; Islam, Asif
    The article shows that the number of documents required to export and import tend to increase the time cost of shipments. However, the increase in the time cost of increased documentation is much larger for countries that are relatively poor and large in size. One interpretation here is that the relatively rich countries that have more resources and the relatively small countries that rely more on trade invest more in building efficient documentation systems. Our findings suggest caution in interpreting how input-based measures, such as the number of required documents to trade, affect outcome measures.
  • Publication
    Decomposing the Labor Productivity Gap between Upper-Middle-Income and High-Income Countries
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-12) Amin, Mohammad; Islam, Asif; Khalid, Usman
    Using firm-level survey data on registered private firms collected by the World Bank's Enterprise Surveys, this paper compares the level of labor productivity in 22 upper-middle-income countries and 11 high-income countries for which comparable data are available. The results show that labor productivity in the upper-middle-income countries is about 57.5 percent lower than in the high-income countries. The productivity difference is robust and holds for firms of different sizes and industries. The analysis uses the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition to identify the sources of the productivity gap. It finds that the endowment effect and the structural effect contribute roughly equally to the productivity gap. Several firm- and country-level variables determine the productivity gap. The biggest contributors via the endowment effect include tertiary education attainment, law and order, and quality management proxied by international quality certification. Factors that contribute most via the structural effect include market size, secondary education attainment, and law and order. Thus, the results underline the importance of human capital, institutions, and market size for closing the productivity gap between the upper-middle-income and high-income countries.
  • Publication
    The Burden of Water Shortages on Informal Firms
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-05) Islam, Asif
    The informal sector in developing economies is a significant source of livelihood for a sizable portion of the population. This study uncovers the effect of poor water infrastructure on the productivity of informal firms. This is achieved using firm-level data for 12 developing economies between 2009 and 2014. The findings indicate that an increase of one standard deviation of the total duration of water shortages in a month can lead to annual average losses of about 14.5 percent of the monthly sales per worker for the average informal firm in the sample that uses water for business activities.
  • Publication
    Does Paternity Leave Matter for Female Employment in Developing Economies?: Evidence from Firm-Level Data
    (Taylor and Francis, 2016-07-06) Amin, Mohammad; Islam, Asif; Sakhonchik, Alena
    Analysis using firm-level data for a sample of 33,302 firms in 53 developing countries shows that women’s employment among private firms is significantly higher in countries that mandate paternity leave versus those that do not. A conservative estimate suggests an increase of 6.8 percentage points in the proportion of women workers associated with mandating paternity leave. The empirical specification is immune to spurious correlations that affect the level of women and men employment equally and also robust to a large number of controls for country and firm characteristics.
  • Publication
    An Exploration of the Relationship between Police Presence, Crime, and Business in Developing Countries
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-02) Islam, Asif
    Economic theory predicts that a rise in police presence will reduce criminal activity. However several studies in the literature have found mixed results. This study adds to the literature by exploring the relationship between the size of the police force and crime experienced by firms. Using survey data for about 12,000 firms in a cross-section of 27 developing countries, the study finds that increasing the size of the police force is negatively associated with crime experienced by firms. The results are confirmed using a panel of firms for a subset of countries for which data are available. The study also finds that this negative relationship is stronger under certain macro-economic circumstances.
  • Publication
    Women Managers and the Gender-Based Gap in Access to Education: Evidence from Firm-Level Data in Developing Countries
    (Taylor and Francis, 2015-10-06) Islam, Asif
    A number of studies explore the differences in men's and women's labor market participation rates and wages. Some of these differences have been linked to gender disparities in education access and attainment. The present paper contributes to this literature by analyzing the relationship between the proclivity of a firm having a top woman manager and access to education among women relative to men in the country. The study combines the literature on women's careers in management, which has mostly focused on developed countries, with the development literature that has emphasized the importance of access to education. Using firm-level data for seventy-three developing countries in 2007–10, the study finds strong evidence that countries with a higher proportion of top women managers also have higher enrollment rates for women relative to men in primary, secondary, and tertiary education.
  • Publication
    Decomposing the Labour Productivity Gap between Migrant-Owned and Native-Owned Firms in Sub-Saharan Africa
    (Taylor and Francis, 2018-09-18) Islam, Asif; Amin, Mohammad
    Migration studies have been primarily based on the movement of individuals from developing to developed economies, with a focus on the impact of migrants on host country wages. In this study we take a different angle by exploring the labor productivity of migrant-owned firms versus native-owned firms in 20 African economies using firm-level data. We find that labor productivity is 78 per cent higher in migrant-owned firms than native-owned firms. Using the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition method we find that structural effects account for 80 per cent of the labor productivity gap. Returns to manager education largely explain the productivity advantage of migrant-owned firms over native-owned firms. Interactions with the government, access to finance, informality, and power outages are also considerable contributors to the labor productivity gap.
  • Publication
    Entrepreneurship and the Allocation of Government Spending Under Imperfect Markets
    (World Bank Group, Washington, DC, 2015-01) Islam, Asif
    Previous studies have established a negative relationship between total government spending and entrepreneurship activity. However, the relationship between the composition of government spending and entrepreneurial activity has been woefully under-researched. This paper fills this gap in the literature by empirically exploring the relationship between government spending on social and public goods and entrepreneurial activity under the assumption of credit market imperfections. By combining macroeconomic government spending data with individual-level entrepreneurship data, the analysis finds a positive relationship between increasing the share of social and public goods at the cost of private subsidies and entrepreneurship while confirming a negative relationship between total government consumption and entrepreneurial activity. The implication may be that expansion of total government spending includes huge increases in private subsidies, at the cost of social and public goods, and is detrimental for entrepreneurship.
  • Publication
    Public Procurement and the Private Business Sector: Evidence from Firm-Level Data
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-09) Ghossein, Tania; Islam, Asif Mohammed; Saliola, Federica
    The quality of the public procurement system of an economy can have far-reaching effects on the private sector. This paper empirically explores several of these effects using two rich data sets. An overall indicator of public procurement quality is created from the World Bank’s Benchmarking Public Procurement project that is then combined with firm-level data from the World Bank Enterprise Surveys. The analysis includes more than 59,000 firms spanning more than 109 economies. The paper finds that firms in economies with good public procurement systems are more likely to participate in public procurement, face lower losses from shipping to domestic markets, and experience lower incidence of bribery than economies with poor public procurement systems. Similarly, better public procurement systems are positively correlated with more engagement in innovation, research and development, international certification, foreign technology adoption, and online connectivity.