As part of its strategic goal of building a climate for investment, job creation, and sustainable growth, the World Bank has promoted improving business environments as a key strategy for development, which has led to a systematic effort in collecting enterprise data across countries. The Enterprise Surveys are an ongoing World Bank project in collecting both objective data based on firms' experiences and enterprises' perception of the environment in which they operate.
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 2005-2006, most data collection efforts have been centralized within the Enterprise Analysis Unit. The Enterprise Surveys are conducted across all geographic regions and cover small, medium, and large companies. The surveys are administered to a representative sample of firms in the non-agricultural formal private economy. Data are used to create indicators that benchmark the quality of the business and investment climate across countries.
The survey was conducted in Nicaragua between October 2016 and June 2017 as part of Enterprise Surveys project, an initiative of the World Bank. The objective of the survey is to obtain feedback from enterprises 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. Only registered businesses are surveyed in the Enterprise Survey.
Data from 333 establishments was analyzed. Stratified random sampling was used to select the surveyed businesses. The data was collected using face-to-face interviews.
The standard Enterprise Survey topics include firm characteristics, gender participation, access to finance, annual sales, costs of inputs and 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 percent 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.
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.
v01, edited, anonymous dataset for public distribution
All variables are named using, first, the letter of each section and, second, the number of the variable within the section, i.e. a1 denotes section A, question 1 (some exceptions apply due to comparability reasons). Variable names preceded by the prefix "LAC" indicate questions specific to Dominican Republic and other countries in LAC 2016, therefore, they may not be found in the implementation of the rollout in other countries. All other suffixed variables are global and are present in all country surveys over the world. All variables are numeric with the exception of those variables with an "x" at the end of their names. The suffix "x" denotes that the variable is alpha-numeric.
The scope of the study includes:
- Characteristics of Establishment;
- Infrastructure and Services;
- Sales and Supplies;
- Innovation and Degree of Competition;
- Land and Permits;
- Business Development Services;
- Business-Government Relations;
- Business Environment;
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
Inter-American Development Bank
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 Manufacturing industries (ISIC Rev. 3.1 codes 15- 37), Retail industries (ISIC code 52) and Other Services (ISIC codes 45, 50, 51, 55, 60-64, and 72).
For the Nicaragua ES, size stratification was defined as follows: small (4 to 20 employees), medium (21 to 50 employees), and large (51 or more employees). These categories differ from the global ES size definitions - small (5 to 19 employees), medium (20 to 99 employees), and large (100 or more employees).
Regional stratification was done across four regions: Managua (department), East (departments of Masaya, Granada, and Carazo), West (departments of Chinandega and Leon), and North (departments of Esteli, Jinotega, and Matagalpa). Due to several cells without any realized interviews, the stratification regions East, West, and North were combined in one.
The sample frame consisted of listings of firms from two sources: For panel firms the list of 336 firms from the Nicaragua 2010 ES was used, and for fresh firms (i.e., firms not covered in 2010) the sample frame was comprised of a list randomly drawn from the Economic Census, provided by the Banco Central de Nicaragua. Standardized size categories provided by the Census were used.
The quality of the frame was assessed at the onset of the project through visits to a random subset of firms and local contractor knowledge. The sample frame was not immune from the typical problems found in establishment surveys: positive rates of non-eligibility, repetition, non-existent units, etc. In addition, the sample frame contains no telephone/fax numbers so the local contractor had to screen the contacts by visiting them. Due to response rate and ineligibility issues, additional sample had to be extracted by the World Bank in order to obtain enough eligible contacts and meet the sample targets.
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 22.8% (326 out of 1,430 establishments).
Survey non-response must be differentiated from item non-response. The former refers to refusals to participate in the survey altogether whereas the latter refers to the refusals to answer some specific questions. Enterprise Surveys suffer from both problems and different strategies were used to address these issues.
Item non-response was addressed by two strategies:
a- For sensitive questions that may generate negative reactions from the respondent, such as corruption or tax evasion, enumerators were instructed to collect "Refusal to respond" (-8) as a different option from "Don't know" (-9).
b- Establishments with incomplete information were re-contacted in order to complete this information, whenever necessary.
Survey non-response was addressed by maximizing efforts to contact establishments that were initially selected for interview. Attempts were made to contact the establishment for interview at different times/days of the week before a replacement establishment (with similar strata characteristics) was suggested for interview. Survey non-response did occur but substitutions were made in order to potentially achieve strata-specific goals.
The number of interviews per contacted establishments was 0.233. This number is the result of two factors: explicit refusals to participate in the survey, as reflected by the rate of rejection (which includes rejections of the screener and the main survey) and the quality of the sample frame, as represented by the presence of ineligible units. The number of rejections per contact was 0.393.
Three sets of assumptions on establishment eligibility are used to construct sample adjustments using the status code information.
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.
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.
Weak assumption: in addition to the establishments included in points a and b, all establishments for which it was not possible to contact or that refused the screening questionnaire are assumed eligible. This definition includes as eligible 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. Under the weak assumption only observed non-eligible units are excluded from universe projections. The resulting weights are included in the variable wweak.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
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 are usually implemented following a two-stage procedure. In the first stage, a screener questionnaire is applied over the phone to determine eligibility and to make appointments; in the second stage, a face-to-face interview takes 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.
Borge y Asociados and then FUSADES were the main contractors that implemented Nicaragua 2016 ES.
Borge y Asociados
The structure of the data base reflects the fact that two different versions of the survey instrument were used for all registered establishments. Questionnaires have common questions (core module) and respectfully additional manufacturing- and services-specific questions.
The eligible manufacturing industries have been surveyed using the Manufacturing questionnaire (includes the core module, plus manufacturing specific questions).
Retail firms have been interviewed using the Services questionnaire (includes the core module plus retail specific questions) and the residual eligible services have been covered using the Services questionnaire (includes the core module).
Each variation of the questionnaire is identified by the index variable, a0.
The last complete fiscal year is January to December 2015. For questions pertaining to monetary amounts, the unit is the Nicaraguan Córdoba (NIO).
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.
Enterprise Analysis Unit
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.
The use of this dataset must be acknowledged using a citation which would include:
- the identification of the Primary Investigator (including country name)
- the full title of the survey and its acronym (when available), and the year(s) of implementation
- the survey reference number
- the source and date of download (for datasets disseminated online).
The World Bank. Nicaragua Enterprise Survey (ES) 2016, Ref. NIC_2016_ES_v01_M. Dataset downloaded from [URL] on [date].
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
Development Data Group
Date of Metadata Production
DDI Document version
Version 01 (August 2017)