An Enterprise Survey is a firm-level survey of a representative sample of an economy's private sector. Firm-level surveys have been conducted since 1998 by different units within the World Bank. Since 2005-06, most data collection efforts have been centralized within the Enterprise Analysis Unit. The Enterprise Surveys are conducted every three to four years across all geographic regions and cover small, medium, and large companies. Data are used to create indicators that benchmark the quality of the business and investment climate across countries.
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]
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.
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.
The whole population, or the universe, covered in the Enterprise Surveys is the non-agricultural economy. It comprises: all manufacturing sectors according to the ISIC Revision 3.1 group classification (group D), construction sector (group F), services sector (groups G and H), and transport, storage, and communications sector (group I). Note that this population definition excludes the following sectors: financial intermediation (group J), real estate and renting activities (group K, except sub-sector 72, IT, which was added to the population under study), and all public or utilities-sectors.
Producers and sponsors
The study was conducted using stratified random sampling. Three levels of stratification were used in the sample: firm sector, firm size, and geographic region.
Industry stratification was designed as follows: the universe was stratified into eight manufacturing industries (food, textiles, garments, shoes & leather, chemicals, machinery & equipment, auto parts, furniture), two services industries (retail and IT) and two residual sectors. The sample design had a target of 1320 interviews in manufacturing and 240 interviews each in the services and residual categories.
Size stratification was defined following the standardized definition used for the Enterprise Surveys: 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.
Regional stratification was defined in terms of the geographic regions with the largest commercial presence in the country: Amazonas, Bahia, Ceara, Distrito Federal, Goias, Maranhao, Mato Grosso, Minas Gerais, Paraiba, Parana, Pernambuco, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, and Sao Paulo.
The Enterprise Survey for Brazil targeted 1800 registered establishments, including 817 establishments with 5 to 19 employees 657 with 20 to 99 employees, and 326 with 100 or more employees.
Given the stratified design, sample frames containing a complete and updated list of establishments as well as information on all stratification variables (number of employees, industry, and region) are required to draw the sample for the Enterprise Surveys.
Two frames were used for Brazil. The first was an extract from the database of all formal establishments obtained from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística - IBGE]. This database is yearly updated and the 2007 extract was used. The second frame (the panel sample) consisted of enterprises interviewed for the Enterprise Survey in 2003, which were to be re-interviewed where they were in the selected geographical regions and met eligibility criteria. Both database contained the following information:
-Name of the firm
-Number of employees.
Given the impact that non-eligible units included in the sample universe may have on the results, adjustments may be needed when computing the appropriate weights for individual observations. The percentage of confirmed non-eligible units as a proportion of the total number of sampled establishments contacted for the survey was 30.1% (3,255 out of 10,824 establishments).
Complete information regarding the sampling methodology, sample frame, weights, response rates, and implementation can be found in "Description of Brazil 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 wstrict.
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 wmedian. 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 wweak. Note that under the weak assumption only observed non-eligible units are excluded from universe projections.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Complete information regarding the sampling methodology, sample frame, weights, response rates, and implementation can be found in "Description of Brazil Implementation" placed in "Technical Documents" folder.
Data Collection Notes
Private contractors conduct the Enterprise Surveys on behalf of the World Bank. Due to sensitive survey questions addressing business-government relations and corruption-related topics, private contractors are preferred over any government agency or an organization/institution associated with government, and are hired by the World Bank to collect the data.
The surveys were implemented following a two-stage procedure. In the first stage, a screener questionnaire was applied over the phone to determine eligibility and to make appointments; in the second stage, a face-to-face interview took place with the Manager/Owner/Director of each establishment. Sometimes the survey respondent calls company accountants and human resource managers into the interview to answer questions in the sales and labor sections of the survey.
All Enterprise Surveys are conducted in the local languages.
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 confidentiality 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 https://www.enterprisesurveys.org"
Disclaimer and copyrights
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.
DDI Document ID
DDI Document version