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

65 Pages Posted: 4 May 2015 Last revised: 30 May 2015

See all articles by Marcel Fafchamps

Marcel Fafchamps

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies

Simon Quinn

University of Oxford

Date Written: April 2015

Abstract

We run a novel field experiment to link managers of African manufacturing firms. The experiment 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 only 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.

Suggested Citation

Fafchamps, Marcel and Quinn, Simon R., Networks and Manufacturing Firms in Africa: Results from a Randomized Field Experiment (April 2015). NBER Working Paper No. w21132, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2602115

Marcel Fafchamps (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Simon R. Quinn

University of Oxford ( email )

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