Title: Evaluating the impact of registration on future firm performance in the Middle East and North Africa region: evidence from the World Bank Enterprise Survey

Authors: Colin C. Williams; Abbi M. Kedir

Addresses: Sheffield University Management School, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, S10 1FL, UK ' Sheffield University Management School, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, S10 1FL, UK

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to investigate whether the future firm performance of formal enterprises that started-up unregistered and spent longer unregistered are significantly different to those that registered at the outset. Reporting World Bank Enterprise Survey data on 3,420 formal enterprises from eleven countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, and controlling for other determinants of firm performance as well as the endogeneity of the registration decision using the Heckman selection model, the finding is that unregistered firms at start-up witness lower sales and productivity growth but higher employment growth rates. The effect of the registration decision on future performance thus depends on the performance indicator analysed. The theoretical implications are then discussed along with the limitations and future research required.

Keywords: entrepreneurship; enterprise culture; informal economy; informal sector; productivity; firm performance; start-ups; Middle East; Africa.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2020.111574

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2020 Vol.41 No.4, pp.473 - 489

Received: 22 Jan 2018
Accepted: 08 Oct 2018

Published online: 25 Nov 2020 *

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