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Islam, Asif M.

Development Economics, Enterprise Analysis Group
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Development Economics, Enterprise Analysis Group
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Last updated April 6, 2023
Citations 49 Scopus

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 13
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    Do Government Private Subsidies Crowd Out Entrepreneurship?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-06) Islam, Asif
    Although several studies have found a negative relationship between government spending and entrepreneurship, much debate remains regarding the components of government spending responsible for this association. This paper contributes to the literature by specifically exploring the relationship between government private subsidies and entrepreneurship. By combining macroeconomic government spending data with individual level entrepreneurship data, the paper finds a negative association between the share of private subsidies and entrepreneurship. However, findings are less straightforward when the analysis delves deeper into the components of private subsidies and their association with different kinds of entrepreneurship.
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    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.
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    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.
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    The Labor Productivity Gap between Formal Businesses Run by Women and Men
    (Taylor and Francis, 2020-09-20) Islam, Asif ; Gaddis, Isis ; Palacios López, Amparo ; Amin, Mohammad
    This study analyzes gender differences in labor productivity in the formal private sector, using data from 126 mostly developing economies. The results reveal a sizable unconditional gap, with labor productivity being approximately 11 percent lower among women- than men-managed firms. The analyses are based on women’s management, which is more strongly associated with labor productivity than women’s participation in ownership, which has been the focus of most previous studies. Decomposition techniques reveal several factors that contribute to lower labor productivity of women-managed firms relative to firms managed by men: Fewer women-managed firms protect themselves from crime and power outages, have their own websites, and are (co-)owned by foreigners. In addition, in the manufacturing sector, women-managed firms are less capitalized and have lower labor costs than firms managed by men.
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    The Labor Productivity Gap between Female and Male-Managed Firms in the Formal Private Sector
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-05) Islam, Asif ; Gaddis, Isis ; Palacios-Lopez, Amparo ; Amin, Mohammad
    This study analyzes gender differences in labor productivity in the formal private sector, using data from 128 mostly developing economies. The results reveal a sizable unconditional gap, with labor productivity being approximately 11 percent lower among female- than male-managed firms. The analyses are based on female management, which is more strongly associated with labor productivity than female participation in ownership, which has been the focus of most previous studies. Decomposition techniques reveal several factors that contribute to lower labor productivity of female-managed firms relative to male-managed firms: fewer female- than male-managed firms protect themselves from crime and power outages, have their own websites, and are (co-) owned by foreigners. In addition, in the manufacturing sector, female-managed firms are less capitalized and have lower labor cost than male-managed firms.
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    Does Mobile Money Use Increase Firms' Investment?: Evidence from Enterprise Surveys in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-11) Islam, Asif ; Muzi, Silvia ; Rodriguez Meza, Jorge Luis
    Private investment can be an important engine of economic growth in East African countries, which, despite recent growth rates, are still plagued with adverse economic conditions. Against this backdrop, there has been substantial penetration of mobile money, moving beyond simple person-to-person exchanges toward adoption by private firms. This study explores whether there is a relationship between firm adoption of mobile money and firm investment. Using firm-level data that are nationally representative of the private sector in three East African countries -- Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda -- a positive relationship is found between mobile money use and the probability of a firm’s purchase of fixed assets. This relationship is attributed to reduced transaction costs, increased liquidity, and increased credit worthiness associated with the use of mobile phone financial services.
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    Gendered Laws, Informal Origins, and Subsequent Performance
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-08) Hyland, Marie ; Islam, Asif
    This research explores the relationship between laws that discriminate on the basis of gender and the probability that a female-owned business begins operating in the informal sector. This is achieved by tracing the origins of formal businesses surveyed in the World Bank Enterprise Surveys and merging this with information on the level of legal equality between genders as measured by the Women, Business and the Law database. In addition, the research explores whether starting a business informally has any differential effect on subsequent firm performance depending on the gender of the owner(s). The results show that gender discriminatory laws increase the likelihood that firms with female owners will begin operations in the informal sector; as expected, this does not hold for enterprises that are solely owned by men. Furthermore, the research provides evidence that firms that began operations informally have poorer performance years later—a relationship that exists both for firms with female owners and for firms fully owned by men. The results show notable variation by region.
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    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.
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    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.
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    Decomposing the Labour Productivity Gap between Migrant-Owned and Native-Owned Firms in Sub-Saharan Africa
    (Taylor and Francis, 2018-09-18) Islam, Asif ; Palacios Lopez, Amparo ; 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.