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Journal Article

Networks and Manufacturing Firms in Africa : Results from a Randomized Field Experiment

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Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the World Bank
Africa | Sub-Saharan Africa
2020-04-03T19:19:41Z | 2020-04-03T19:19:41Z | 2018-10

We run a novel field experiment to link managers of African manufacturing firms. The experiment resembles the many forms of interaction that business and community organizations offer to their members. The design features exogenous link formation, exogenous seeding of information, and exogenous assignment to treatment and placebo.We study the impact of the experiment on firm business practices outside of the lab. We find that the experiment successfully created new variation in social networks. We find significant diffusion of business practices in terms of VAT registration and having a bank current account. This diffusion is a combination of diffusion of innovation and simple imitation. At the time of our experiment, all three studied countries were undergoing large changes in their VAT legislation.

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