Firms and Innovation

The Firms and Innovation Initiative is motivated by the view that one of the best anti-poverty programs is a steady job at a wage sufficient to support the basic needs of a household. Such jobs are more likely to be available when an economy’s industrial sector is thriving, when firms are growing and investing in their workforces. Innovation – understood broadly to mean all types of learning: how to produce new products, how to reduce costs, how to upgrade quality, how to manage an organization – is a key driver of industrial development. Why are some firms able to innovate and some not? Why are some industries and regions populated by dynamic, innovative firms and some not?  What role can public policy play in overcoming market failures and stimulating innovation and industrial development? These are core questions for the initiative.

The Firms and Innovation Initiative is led by CDEP Co-Director Eric Verhoogen.

Current Projects:

(jump to completed projects)

Evaluating Contract Farming

Investigators: CDEP Affiliate Jack Willis, Lorenzo Casaburi

Land Rental Markets: Experimental Evidence from Kenya

Investigators: CDEP Affiliate Jack Willis, Michelle Acampora and Lorenzo Casaburi

Barriers to Social Learning Among Smallholder Farmers

Investigators: CDEP Affiliate Jack Willis, Raissa Fabregas

How Do Managers' Beliefs About New Technologies Evolve? Informational Interventions and the Adoption of Energy Efficient Stitching Motors in Bangladesh

Investigators: CDEP Co-Director Eric Verhoogen, CDEP Fellow Ritam Chaurey (Johns Hopkins), and Siddharth Sharma and Gaurav Nayyar of the World Bank.

Migrants, Information, and Working Conditions in Bangladeshi Garment Factories

Investigators:  CDEP Affiliate Laura Boudreau, Rachel Heath, and Tyler H. McCormick

Can Enforcement Interventions by Multinationals Help Improve Labor Standards in Developing Countries

Investigator:  CDEP Affiliate Laura Boudreau

Evaluating an Export Promotion Scheme in Tunisia

Investigators:  CDEP Co-Director Eric VerhoogenAminur Rahman, and Giacomo Giorgi. Project Manager: Nadia Ali.

The High Cost of High-Quality Inputs as a Barrier to Upgrading

Investigators: CDEP Affiliate Amit Khandelwal, CDEP Co-Director Eric Verhoogen, David Atkin of MIT and Azam Chaudhry and Shamyla Chaudry of the Lahore School of Economics.

Promoting High Impact Entrepreneurship in Mexico: A Randomized Evaluation

Investigators: CDEP Co-Director Eric Verhoogen, David Atkin of MIT, and Leonardo Iacovone and Alejandra Mendoza of the World Bank.

Completed Projects:

Market Based Emissions Policies

Investigators: CDEP Affiliate Douglas Almond with Shuang Zhang. 

Firm-Level Upgrading in Developing Countries

Investigator: CDEP Co-Director Eric Verhoogen

North-South Displacement Effects of Environmental Regulation: The Case of Battery Recycling

Investigators: Shinsuke Tanaka, Kensuke Teshima, and CDEP Co-Director Eric Verhoogen

Organizational Barriers to Technology Adoption: Evidence from Soccer-Ball Producers in Pakistan

Investigators: CDEP Affiliate Amit Khandelwal, CDEP Co-Director Eric Verhoogen, David Atkin of MIT and Azam Chaudhry and Shamyla Chaudry of the Lahore School of Economics.

Tax Systems and Inter-Firm Trade: Evidence from the VAT in Brazil 

Investigators: CDEP Affiliate François Gerard with Joana Naritomi and Arthur Seibold.

Exports and Wage Premia: Evidence from Mexican Employer-Employee Data

Investigators: CDEP Co-Director Eric Verhoogen, David Kaplan, and Judith Frías, and David Alfaro-Serrano.

Exclusionary Hiring or Assortative Matching?  The Impact of Hiring and Pay Policies on Racial Wage Differences in Brazil

Investigators: CDEP Affiliate François Gerard with David Card, Lorenzo Lagos, and Edson Severnini.

Unraveling the Market Structure Behind International Migration

Investigators: CDEP Affiliate Suresh Naidu, with Shing-Yi Wang and Yaw Nyarko.

Spillovers from Special Economic Zones: Evidence from Myanmar

Investigators: CDEP Affiliate Amit Khandelwal, Rocco Machiavello, and Matthieu Teachout. 

Time vs. State in Insurance: Experimental Evidence from Contract Farming in Kenya

Investigator: CDEP Affiliate Jack Willis.

The Arrival of Fast Internet and Skilled Job Creation in Africa

Investigators: CDEP Affiliate Jonas Hjort with Jonas Poulsen.

Electricity Cost and Firm Performance: Evidence from India

Investigator: CDEP Fellow Ama Baafra Abeberese.

Ethnic Divisions and Production in Firms

Investigator: CDEP Affiliate Jonas Hjort.

The Real Effects of Elecronic Wage Payments: A Field Experiment with Salaried Factory Workers in Bangladesh

Investigators: Emily Breza and Martin Kanz and Leora Klapper, both of the World Bank.

Enlisting Workers in Improving Payroll-Tax Compliance: Evidence from Mexico

Investigators: CDEP Student Affiliate Todd Kumler, CDEP Co-Director Eric Verhoogen, and Judith Frías of the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social.

Ethiopia: More Sweatshops for Africa?

Investigators: Chris Blattman and Stefan Dercon, Professor of Development Economics at the University of Oxford and Chief Economist at the U.K. Department of International Development.

Barriers to Trade: Contracting Failures in Irrigation Markets

Investigators: CDEP Affiliate Supreet Kaur and Ryan Bubb of New York University.

Self Control at Work

Investigators: CDEP Affiliate Supreet Kaur, and Michael Kremer and Sendhil Mullainathan, both of Harvard University.