NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Mary Hallward-Driemeier

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Working Papers

May 2010Deals versus Rules: Policy Implementation Uncertainty and Why Firms Hate It
with Gita Khun-Jush, 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...
April 2002Exports and Manufacturing Productivity in East Asia: A Comparative Analysis with Firm-Level Data
with Giuseppe Iarossi, Kenneth L. Sokoloff: w8894
This paper uses new firm level data from five East Asian countries to explore the patterns of manufacturing productivity across the region. One of the striking patterns that emerges is how the extent of openness and the competitiveness of markets affects the relative productivity of firms across the region. Firms with foreign ownership and firms that export are significantly more productive, and the productivity gap is larger the less developed is the local market. We exploit the rich set of firm characteristics available in the database to explore the sources of export firms' greater productivity. We argue that it is in aiming for export markets that firms make decisions that raise productivity. It is not simply that more-productive firms self-select into exporting; rather, firms that...

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