The objective of the survey is to obtain feedback from enterprises in client countries on the state of the private sector as well as to help in building a panel of enterprise data that will make it possible to track changes in the business environment over time, thus allowing, for example, impact assessments of reforms. Through interviews with firms in the manufacturing and services sectors, the survey assesses the constraints to private sector growth and creates statistically significant business environment indicators that are comparable across countries.
The standard Enterprise Survey topics include firm characteristics, gender participation, access to finance, annual sales, costs of inputs/labor, workforce composition, bribery, licensing, infrastructure, trade, crime, competition, capacity utilization, land and permits, taxation, informality, business-government relations, innovation and technology, and performance measures. Over 90% of the questions objectively ascertain characteristics of a country’s business environment. The remaining questions assess the survey respondents’ opinions on what are the obstacles to firm growth and performance. The mode of data collection is face-to-face interviews.
Kind of data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Regions covered are selected based on the number of establishments, contribution to employment, and value added. In most cases these regions are metropolitan areas and reflect the largest centers of economic activity in a country.
Unit of analysis
The primary sampling unit of the study is the establishment. An establishment is a physical location where business is carried out and where industrial operations take place or services are provided. A firm may be composed of one or more establishments. For example, a brewery may have several bottling plants and several establishments for distribution. For the purposes of this survey an establishment must make its own financial decisions and have its own financial statements separate from those of the firm. An establishment must also have its own management and control over its payroll.
The manufacturing and services sectors are the primary business sectors of interest. This corresponds to firms classified with International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC) codes 15-37, 45, 50-52, 55, 60-64, and 72 (ISIC Rev.3.1). Services firms include construction, retail, wholesale, hotels, restaurants, transport, storage, communications, and IT. Firms with 100% government/state ownership are not eligible to participate in an Enterprise Survey.
Producers and sponsors
The study was conducted using stratified random sampling. Three levels of stratification were used in this country: industry, establishment size, and region.
Industry stratification was designed in the way that follows: the universe was stratified into 4 manufacturing industries, 2 services industries -retail and IT-, and one residual sector. Each industry had a target of 120 interviews. For the manufacturing industries sample sizes were inflated by about 25% to account for potential non-response cases when requesting sensitive financial data and also because of likely attrition in future surveys that would affect the construction of a panel.
Size stratification was defined following the standardized definition for the rollout: small (5 to 19 employees), medium (20 to 99 employees), and large (more than 99 employees). For stratification purposes, the number of employees was defined on the basis of reported permanent full-time workers. This seems to be an appropriate definition of the labor force since seasonal/casual/part-time employment is not a common practice, except in the sectors of construction and agriculture. The former is represented by 22 establishments out of 1015 establishments in the total sample and the latter is not included in the sample frame.
Regional stratification was defined in 4 regions. These regions are Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, and Burgas. These regions contain the main cities and industrial clusters of the country. These areas comprise 40% of the country's population and 23% of the territory.
Given the stratified design, sample frames containing a complete and updated list of establishments for the selected regions were required. Great efforts were made to obtain the best source for these listings. However, the quality of the sample frames was not optimal and, therefore, some adjustments were needed to correct for the presence of ineligible units. These adjustments are reflected in the weights computation.
The source of the sample frame was the Bulgarian National Statistical Institute (2007). The quality of the frame was assessed at the onset of the project. The frame proved to be useful though it showed positive rates of non-eligibility, repetition, non-existent units, etc. These problems are typical of establishment surveys, but given the impact these inaccuracies may have on the results, adjustments were needed when computing the appropriate weights for individual observations. The percentage of confirmed non-eligible units as a proportion of the total number of contacts to complete the survey was 34% (951 out of 2,768 establishments).
Complete information regarding the sampling methodology, sample frame, weights, response rates, and implementation can be found in the document "Description of Bulgaria Implementation" in "Technical Documents" folder.
For some units it was impossible to determine eligibility because the contact was not successfully completed. Consequently, different assumptions as to their eligibility result in different universe cells' adjustments and in different sampling weights. Three sets of assumptions were considered:
a- Strict assumption: eligible establishments are only those for which it was possible to directly determine eligibility. The resulting weights are included in the variable w_strict.
b- Median assumption: eligible establishments are those for which it was possible to directly determine eligibility and those that rejected the screener questionnaire or an answering machine or fax was the only response. The resulting weights are included in the variable w_median. Median weights are used for computing indicators on the www.enterprisesurveys.org website.
c- Weak assumption: in addition to the establishments included in points a and b, all establishments for which it was not possible to finalize a contact are assumed eligible. This includes establishments with dead or out of service phone lines, establishments that never answered the phone, and establishments with incorrect addresses for which it was impossible to find a new address. The resulting weights are included in the variable w_weak. Note that under the weak assumption only observed non-eligible units are excluded from universe projections.
The “Core Questionnaire” is the heart of the Enterprise Survey and contains the survey questions asked of all firms across the world. There are also two other survey instruments - the “Core Questionnaire + Manufacturing Module” and the “Core Questionnaire + Retail Module.” The survey is fielded via three instruments in order to not ask questions that are irrelevant to specific types of firms, e.g. a question that relates to production and nonproduction workers should not be asked of a retail firm. In addition to questions that are asked across countries, all surveys are customized and contain country-specific questions. An example of customization would be including tourism-related questions that are asked in certain countries when tourism is an existing or potential sector of economic growth.
The standard Enterprise Survey topics include firm characteristics, gender participation, access to finance, annual sales, costs of inputs/labor, workforce composition, bribery, licensing, infrastructure, trade, crime, competition, capacity utilization, land and permits, taxation, informality, business-government relations, innovation and technology, and performance measures. Over 90% of the questions objectively ascertain characteristics of a country’s business environment. The remaining questions assess the survey respondents’ opinions on what are the obstacles to firm growth and performance.
Data entry and quality controls are implemented by the contractor and data is delivered to the World Bank in batches (typically 10%, 50% and 100%). These data deliveries are checked for logical consistency, out of range values, skip patterns, and duplicate entries. Problems are flagged by the World Bank and corrected by the implementing contractor through data checks, callbacks, and revisiting establishments.
Confidentiality of the survey respondents and the sensitive information they provide is necessary to ensure the greatest degree of survey participation, integrity and confidence in the quality of the data. Surveys are usually carried out in cooperation with business organizations and government agencies promoting job creation and economic growth, but confidentiality is never compromised.
Aggregate indicators based on Enterprise Survey data are available to the public at https://www.enterprisesurveys.org
Firm-level data is also available to the public free-of-charge. In order to access the firm-level data, users must agree to abide by a strict confidentitality agreement available through Enterprise Analysis Unit website by clicking on "External users register here" at https://www.enterprisesurveys.org/Portal
Where necessary please site the source as "Enterprise Analysis Unit - World Bank Group www.enterprisesurveys.org"