NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Gita Khun Jush

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Working Papers

May 2010Deals versus Rules: Policy Implementation Uncertainty and Why Firms Hate It
with Mary Hallward-Driemeier, Lant Pritchett: w16001
Firms in Africa report "regulatory and economic policy uncertainty" as a top constraint to their growth. We argue that often firms in Africa do not cope with policy rules, rather they face deals; firm-specific policy actions that can be influenced by firm actions (e.g. bribes) and characteristics (e.g. political connections). Using Enterprise Survey data we demonstrate huge variability in reported policy actions across firms notionally facing the same policy. The within-country dispersion in firm-specific policy actions is larger than the cross-national differences in average policy. We show that variability in this policy implementation uncertainty within location-sector-size cells is correlated with firm growth rates. These measures of implementation variability are more strongly r...

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