Identifying policies and programs that increase private sector firms’ productivity and growth may have important consequences for development and poverty alleviation. J-PAL’s Firms sector seeks to evaluate what works best in generating firm growth and raising productivity. The sector also seeks to test the impact of these policies on employee welfare, the environment, and the broader economy.
J-PAL affiliates’ research in this sector focuses on understanding and relieving constraints to generating firm growth. Topics of study include the impacts of management practice improvements, the impacts of policies that facilitate access to markets and global value chains, effective policy levers for firm expansion, and the importance of large firms in generating employment. We hope that new research in the sector will explore the role that firms play in driving economic growth, whether the size of firms generates or reduces inequality, and whether firms’ gains trickle down to their employees.
In addition to supporting policymakers in applying evidence from randomized evaluations to their work, sector chairs and staff write evaluation summaries, policy insights, and policy publications that synthesize general lessons emerging from the research.
J-PAL partners with the IFC and IGC to discuss global supply chains, sustainability, and research collaboration
Can more firms learn from randomized evaluations to improve business operations in developing economies? How can development institutions better support clients to achieve sustainable growth and key performance improvements in terms of productivity, gender, work-related practices, skills, and other...
Jobs and Opportunity Initiative commits first round of funds for research on entrepreneurship and enterprise development
Covid-19 has had a dramatic and lasting impact on the micro, small, and medium enterprise landscape worldwide, driving many to shut down or radically reshape the way they do business. The consequences of this shift extend beyond the firm to the livelihoods of its workers and their families...
Better policies to support entrepreneurs and create more jobs: A new focus on adaptation and scale
J-PAL’s Jobs and Opportunity Initiative (JOI) is expanding its scope to test promising strategies to help meet the jobs challenge through entrepreneurship and firm growth.
Mapping the impact of COVID-19 on firms in LMICs: A snapshot from ongoing surveys
To understand how the pandemic has altered the business landscape in LMICs, J-PAL’s Firms Sector is synthesizing results from surveys conducted by J-PAL affiliates and invited researchers on the impact of COVID-19 on micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) around the world. This snapshot...
Working remotely or remotely working? Best practices in working from home post COVID-19
Research from randomized evaluations can shed light on some of the benefits of working from home for employees and their employers—and best practices for those of us looking to maximize our productivity while preserving some work-life balance.
Teaching business skills to support microentrepreneurs
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
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.
The Impact of Exporting: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Egypt
Researchers partnered with Aid to Artisans (ATA), a US-based nonprofit, and Hamis Carpets, an Egypt-based distributor, to provide small-scale rug manufacturers the opportunity to export to high-income countries. Offering small firms the opportunity to export rugs to high-income markets increased...