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The Impacts of Industrial and Entrepreneurial Work on Income and Health: Experimental Evidence from Ethiopia

84 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2016 Last revised: 10 Oct 2017

Christopher Blattman

University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Stefan Dercon

University of Oxford - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 22, 2017

Abstract

Working with five Ethiopian firms, we randomized applicants to an industrial job offer, an “entrepreneurship” program of $300 plus business training, or control status. Industrial jobs offered more and steadier hours but low wages and risky conditions. The job offer doubled exposure to industrial work but, since most quit within months, had no impact on employment or income after a year. Applicants largely took industrial work to cope with adverse shocks. This exposure, meanwhile, significantly increased health problems. The entrepreneurship program raised earnings 33 percent and provided steadier hours. When barriers to self-employment were relieved, applicants preferred entrepreneurial to industrial labor.

Keywords: wage labor, factories, employment, entrepreneurship, cash transfers, field experiment

JEL Classification: J24, O14, F16, J81, O17

Suggested Citation

Blattman, Christopher and Dercon, Stefan, The Impacts of Industrial and Entrepreneurial Work on Income and Health: Experimental Evidence from Ethiopia (June 22, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2843595 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2843595

Christopher Blattman (Contact Author)

University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Stefan Dercon

University of Oxford - Department of Economics ( email )

Manor Road Building
Manor Road
Oxford, OX1 3BJ
United Kingdom
44 1865 271084 (Phone)
44 1865 271094 (Fax)

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