NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Simon R. Quinn

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Working Papers

April 2015Aspire
with Marcel Fafchamps: w21084
We gave US$1,000 cash prizes to winners of a business plan competition in Africa. The competition, entitled ‘Aspire’, was intended to attract young individuals aspiring to become entrepreneurs. Participants were ranked by committees of judges composed of established entrepreneurs. Each committee selected one winner among twelve candidates; that winner was awarded a prize of US$1,000 to spend at his or her discretion. Six months after the competition, we compare winners with the two runners-up in each committee: winners are about 33 percentage points more likely to be self-employed. We estimate an average effect on monthly profits of about US$150: an annual profit of 80% on initial investment. Our findings imply that access to start-up capital constitutes a sizable barrier to entry into ent...
July 2011When is capital enough to get female microenterprises growing? Evidence from a randomized experiment in Ghana
with Marcel Fafchamps, David McKenzie, Christopher Woodruff: w17207
Standard models of investment predict that credit-constrained firms should grow rapidly when given additional capital, and that how this capital is provided should not affect decisions to invest in the business or consume the capital. We randomly gave cash and in-kind grants to male- and female-owned microenterprises in urban Ghana. Our findings cast doubt on the ability of capital alone to stimulate the growth of female microenterprises. First, while the average treatment effects of the in-kind grants are large and positive for both males and females, the gain in profits is almost zero for women with initial profits below the median, suggesting that capital alone is not enough to grow subsistence enterprises owned by women. Second, for women we strongly reject equality of the cash and in-...

Marcel Fafchamps, David McKenzie, Simon Quinn, and Christopher Woodruff, "Female Microenterprises and the Fly-paper Effect: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Ghana", Journal of Development Economics, 2014 (forthcoming)

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