Informational Barriers to Market Access: Experimental Evidence from Liberian Firms

60 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2020

See all articles by Jonas Hjort

Jonas Hjort

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics

Vinayak Iyer

Columbia University

Golvine de Rochambeau

Sciences Po

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 2020

Abstract

Evidence suggests that firms in poor countries stagnate because they cannot access growth-conducive markets. We hypothesize that overlooked heterogeneity in marketing ability distorts market access. To investigate, we gave a random subset of Liberian firms vouchers for a week-long program that teaches how to sell to corporations, governments, and other large buyers. Firms that participate win about three times as many contracts, but only firms with access to the Internet benefit. We use a simple model and variation in online and offline demand to show evidence that this is because ICT dampens traditional information frictions, but not marketing barriers.

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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 Business School - Finance and Economics ( 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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