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Firms and Labor Markets: Essays in Development Economics
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
2023 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Matching with the Right Attitude: the Effect of Matching Firms with Refugee Workers

We study the effect of contact in the workplace on firms' willingness to hire refugees and ultimately on refugees' labor market integration. We run an experiment in Uganda, where treated firms provide an internship of one week to a skilled refugee worker. We find that treated firms hire three times as many refugees than firms in the control group on the long run. Exposure to a refugee led firm managers to update their beliefs about refugees' skills in general. We find that positive matches, i.e., firms with a positive attitude toward refugees who were matched with a refugee with positive attitudes toward locals, resulted in a substantial increase in firms’ willingness to hire a refugee worker, while negative matches decrease firms’ willingness to hire. Our findings show that short-term exposure interventions can result in longer-term increases in employment for disadvantaged groups, but the size of this effect depends on the initial match quality.

Can work contact improve social cohesion between refugees and locals? Evidence from an experiment in Uganda

Does contact, through direct and indirect exposure in the workplace, promote social cohesion between refugees and natives? We answer to this question through an experiment with refugee and local workers in Uganda. We measure social cohesion through a compound measure incorporating attitudes, implicit and explicit biases and behaviors in real and hypothetical activities. We find that while implicit bias increases, explicit bias decreases for both groups, and behaviours towards the out-group are positive for both groups but differ slightly: natives want to have more refugee business partners and invest more in future businesses, while refugees want to work more for Ugandan firms and invest less in businesses of their own.

Do Information Frictions Kill Competition? A Field Experiment On Public Procurement in Uganda

We study whether information frictions deter firms from doing business with the government. We conduct two nation-wide randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in collaboration with the national anti-corruption and public procurement supervisory agency in Uganda. The first RCT aims to increase transparency, by providing firms with direct and timely access to information about government tenders over a two-year period. The second RCT additionally addresses mis-perceptions about the performance of government entities, by giving firms access to structured information on other firms' perceptions and on anti-corruption audits. We find that increasing transparency about tenders alone is not enough to increase firm participation in public procurement. However, additionally correcting firms' perceptions about the quality of public entities increases firms' total number of bids and total government contracts won. Overall, our findings point to the limits of transparency reforms that aim to increase competition in public procurement without accounting for firms' perceptions about government corruption and inefficiency.

Credit contracts, Business Development and Gender: Evidence from Uganda

We examine the effect of credit contract design on business growth. Entrepreneurs borrowing from one of Uganda's major lenders were randomly offered modified contracts with varying degrees of repayment schedule flexibility or an equivalent cash transfer. Our results indicate that enhanced flexibility in repayment schedules leads to higher profits 5 years later, with the optimal form of flexibility depending on the entrepreneur's gender. The cash transfer does not affect firm outcomes. Exploring the repayment flexibility effects, we find that male-owned businesses increase employee hiring and generate higher profit under flexible repayment contracts, whereas female-owned businesses benefit more from grace-period contracts. We present suggestive evidence that kinship taxation on female entrepreneurs drives these differences.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Economics, Stockholm University , 2023. , p. 335
Series
Monograph series / Institute for International Economic Studies, University of Stockholm, ISSN 0346-6892 ; 122
Keywords [en]
Firms, Labor Markets, Refugees, Social Cohesion, Corruption, Public Procurement, Gender, Credit Markets, RCT
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-216606ISBN: 978-91-8014-326-4 (print)ISBN: 978-91-8014-327-1 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-216606DiVA, id: diva2:1752423
Public defence
2023-06-08, hörsal 11, hus F, Södra Husen, Universitetsvägen 10 F, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2023-05-15 Created: 2023-04-21 Last updated: 2023-07-17Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf