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Networks and Manufacturing Firms in Africa: Results from a Randomized Field Experiment

Jun 2014
Working Paper
514
Marcel Fafchamps, Simon Quinn

We run a novel field experiment to link managers of African manufacturing firms. The experiment features exogenous link formation, exogenous seeding of information and exogenous assignment to treatment and placebo. We study the impact of the experiment on firm business practices outside of the lab. We find that the experiment successfully created new variation in social networks. We find some limited evidence of diffusion of management practices, particularly in terms of firm formalization and innovation. Such diffusion appears to be a combination of diffusion of innovation and simple imitation.

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