Can SME Policies Improve Firm Performance? Evidence from an Impact Evaluation in Argentina
35 Pages Posted: 23 May 2011
Date Written: December 1, 2010
This paper evaluates the impact of the Argentine SME support program PRE on employment, real wages, and exports. The program aimed at increasing the competitiveness of SMEs by co-financing up to fifty percent of expenditures in professional services and technical assistance. We use a unique panel dataset constructed with administrative records. We combine Propensity Score Matching and Difference in Differences methods to control for selection biases in the estimations. We find a positive and quantitatively important impact of the program on employment and a positive although smaller impact on real wages and the probability of exporting. We also find that the effect of the program on wages and the probability of exporting take place one year after beneficiaries receive the program. The effect of the program on employment takes place one, two, and even, three years after beneficiaries receive the program.
Keywords: Public Policy Evaluation, SMEs, Employment, Wages, Exports, Argentina, Difference in Differences, Propensity Score Matching
JEL Classification: C23, H43, L25, O12, O54
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