An Enterprise Survey (ES) 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 (FPDEA). The Enterprise Surveys are conducted 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 ES currently cover over 185,000 firms in 151 countries, of which 143 have been surveyed following the standard methodology. This allows for better comparisons across countries and across time. Data are used to create statistically significant business environment indicators that are comparable across countries. The ES are also used to build a panel of enterprise data that will make it possible to track changes in the business environment over time and allow, for example, impact assessments of reforms.
The survey was conducted in Serbia between December 2018 and September 2019. The survey was part of a joint project of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the World Bank Group (WBG).
The objective of the Enterprise Survey is to gain an understanding of what firms experience in the private sector.
As part of its strategic goal of building a climate for investment, job creation, and sustainable growth, the World Bank has promoted improving the business environment as a key strategy for development, which has led to a systematic effort in collecting enterprise data across countries. The Enterprise Surveys (ES) 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.
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.
Version 01. Edited, anonymous dataset for public distribution.
The Serbia 2019 Enterprise Survey covered the following topics:
- General information of the firm/ establishment
- Infrastructure and services
- Sales and supplies
- Management practices
- Degree of competition
- Time use of top manager
- Land and permits
- Business-Government relations
- Business environment
- Green Economy Module:
- Environment-related aspects
- Exposure to environmental impacts
- Management and the environment
- Environmental policy and regulation
- Environmental impactof the establishment
For the Serbia ES, the size stratification was defined as follows: small (5 to 19 employees), medium (20 to 99 employees), and large (100 or more employees).
Producers and sponsors
The World Bank (WB)
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
European Investment Bank (EIB)
The World Bank
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
European Investment Bank
The sample for 2019 Serbia ES was selected using stratified random sampling, following the methodology explained in the Sampling Note.
Three levels of stratification were used in this country: industry, establishment size, and region. The original sample design with specific information of the industries and regions chosen is described in "The Serbia 2019 Enterprise Surveys Data Set" report in Appendix C.
Industry stratification was done as follows: Manufacturing – combining all the relevant activities (ISIC Rev. 4.0 codes 10-33), Retail (ISIC 47), and Other Services (ISIC 41-43, 45, 46, 49-53, 55, 56, 58, 61, 62, 79, 95).
As it is standard for the ES, the Serbia ES was based on the following size stratification: small (5 to 19 employees), medium (20 to 99 employees), and large (100 or more employees).
Regional stratification was done across four regions: Belgrade, Šumadija and Western Serbia, Southern and Eastern Serbia, and Vojvodina. For the purposes of achieving the thresholds for representativeness, the ES indicators are calculated with some regions combined. In particular, Šumadija and Western Serbia, and Southern and Eastern Serbia are combined.
Note: See Sections II and III of “The Serbia 2019 Enterprise Surveys Data Set” report for additional details on the sampling procedure.
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 the 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. However, there were clear cases of low response. Please, note that for this specific question, refusals were not separately identified from “Don’t know” responses.
The number of interviews per contacted establishments was 36.5%. 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 share of rejections per contact was 48.7%.
Since the sampling design was stratified and employed differential sampling, individual observations should be properly weighted when making inferences about the population. Under stratified random sampling, unweighted estimates are biased unless sample sizes are proportional to the size of each stratum. With stratification the probability of selection of each unit is, in general, not the same. Consequently, individual observations must be weighted by the inverse of their probability of selection (probability weights or pw in Stata.)
Special care was given to the correct computation of the weights. It was imperative to accurately adjust the totals within each region/industry/size stratum to account for the presence of ineligible units (the firm discontinued businesses or was unattainable, education or government establishments, no reply after having called in different days of the week and in different business hours, no tone in the phone line, answering machine, fax line, wrong address or moved away and could not get the new references). The information required for the adjustment was collected in the first stage of the implementation: the screening process. Using this information, each stratum cell of the universe was scaled down by the observed proportion of ineligible units within the cell. Once an accurate estimate of the universe cell (projections) was available, weights were computed using the number of completed interviews.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Data Collection Notes
The survey was implemented following a 2-stage procedure. Typically, first a screener questionnaire was applied over the phone to determine eligibility and to make appointments. Then a face-to-face interview took place with the Manager/Owner/Director of each establishment. However, sometimes the phone numbers were unavailable in the sample frame, and thus the enumerators applied the screeners in person.
Two questionnaires - Manufacturing amd Services were used to collect the survey data.
The 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).
Enterprise Analysis Unit
The World Bank
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 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
Development Economics Data Group
The World Bank
Documentation of the DDI
Date of Metadata Production
DDI Document version
Version 01 (June 2020)