Informational Barriers to Market Access: Experimental Evidence from Liberian Firms

34 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2020 Last revised: 30 Jan 2023

See all articles by Jonas Hjort

Jonas Hjort

Columbia University - Columbia Business School, Finance

Vinayak Iyer

Columbia University

Golvine de Rochambeau

Sciences Po

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Date Written: August 2020

Abstract

Evidence suggests that many firms in poor countries stagnate because they cannot access growth-conducive markets. We hypothesize that overlooked informational barriers distort market access. To investigate, we gave a random subset of medium-sized Liberian firms vouchers for a week-long program that exclusively teaches “sellership”: how to sell to corporations, governments, and other large buyers. Firms that participate win three times as many formal contracts a year later. The impact is heterogeneous: informational sales barriers bind for about a quarter of firms. Three years post-training, these firms continue to win desirable contracts, are more likely to operate, and employ more workers.

Suggested Citation

Hjort, Jonas and Iyer, Vinayak and de Rochambeau, Golvine, Informational Barriers to Market Access: Experimental Evidence from Liberian Firms (August 2020). NBER Working Paper No. w27662, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3670497

Jonas Hjort (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Columbia Business School, Finance ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Vinayak Iyer

Columbia University

Golvine De Rochambeau

Sciences Po

28 Rue des Saint-Peres
Paris, 75006
France

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