SMEs, Growth, and Poverty
NBER Working Paper No. 11224
This paper explores the relationship between the relative size of the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector, economic growth, and poverty alleviation using a new database on the share of SME labor in the total manufacturing labor force. Using a sample of 45 countries, we find a strong, positive association between the importance of SMEs and GDP per capita growth. The data do not, however, confidently support the conclusions that SMEs exert a causal impact on growth. Furthermore, we find no evidence that SMEs alleviate poverty or decrease income inequality.
Published: Beck, Thorsten, Asli Demirguc-Kunt and Ross Levine. "SMEs, Growth, And Poverty: Cross-Country Evidence," Journal of Economic Growth, 2005, v10(3,Sep), 199-229