Policy Insights in Firms

J-PAL’s Firms sector seeks to understand how to best help firms grow, and the impact of firms on workers’ wellbeing in and out of the workplace. Our policy insights below summarize general lessons from randomized evaluations on business skills training and consulting programs, and programs that aim to encourage the registration of informal firms.

David Atkin (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Nicholas Bloom (Stanford University), Firms Co-Chairs

Vendors sell good from multi-colored stalls.
Photo: Radiokafka / Shutterstock.com

Business Training and Consulting Management practices are thought to play an important role in firm growth, and giving firm owners access to subsidized business training services and consulting could be one way to support their growth. Business training programs tend to teach standard best practices in a classroom setting, such as record keeping and conducting market research, while consultants work closely with firms to identify areas for potential improvement and to support the implementation of recommended actions.

Teaching business skills to support microentrepreneurs

Last updated: December 2019
Business skills training programs increased microentrepreneurs’ use of business best practices, but in most cases, there were no significant changes in their profits.

Supporting firm growth through consulting and business training

Last updated: December 2019
Economists have long identified large differences in productivity between countries and between firms. One potential explanation for the persistent gap is that some firms have better management practices than others.

Sector Chairs

david atkin

Co-Chair, Firms

Professor of Economics

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Co-Chair, Firms

William D. Eberle Professor of Economics

Stanford University

Sector Contacts

Policy Associate, J-PAL Global

Lisa Corsetto

Policy Manager, J-PAL Global

Siena Harlin

Policy and Communications Associate, J-PAL Global