Small Enterprise Emergency Financial Assistance (SEEFA)

While a majority of workers in low-income countries are own-account, a sizable share are wage employed in informal firms. Does the logic of firm assistance and job retention programs in the formal sector apply to firms and wage employees in the informal sector? Is firm survival sufficient to avoid job destruction or must assistance take the form of implicit or explicit pass-through to workers? This project uses randomized income transfers to firms and workers to test implementation modalities for small firm emergency assistance, measuring effects on firm survival, job retention, wages, and firm owner and worker income smoothing. We aim to provide scalable policy evidence, and to use the experiment to explore deeper questions about whether (and when, and to what effect) informal firms insure their workers against shocks.

RFP Cycle:
COVID-19 Off-Cycle
  • Jamie McCasland
  • Morgan Hardy
  • Full project