Growth & Employment Program - Insourcing and Outsourcing Impact Evaluation Data 2016-2019
Enterprise Survey [en/oth]
Many small firms lack the finance and marketing skills needed for growth. A standard approach is to train the entrepreneur in these skills. However, rather than requiring entrepreneurs to learn everything, an alternative is to move beyond the boundary of the entrepreneur and link firms to these skills in a marketplace through insourcing workers, or outsourcing tasks to professionals. We conducted a randomized experiment in Nigeria to test the relative effectiveness of these different approaches to improving business practices. Insourcing and outsourcing both dominate business training; and do at least as well as business consulting at one-half of the cost. Replication data for this project are provided.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
Firms in Abuja and Lagos
Firms that applied and were selected for the government Growth and Employment (GEM) program
Producers and sponsors
McCombs School of Business, UT Austin
Investment Climate Impact Program/ComPEL
Firms applied to the Growth and Employment (GEM) Program. To qualify for the programs in our experiment, firms needed to pass a second screening step demonstrating they: (i) were not already insourcing or outsourcing both their marketing function and finance function; (ii) had between 2 and 15 workers; and (iii) received a score of 5.0 to 8.0 (out of 10) in terms of their baseline business practices5. This resulted in an experimental sample of 753 firms.
The first follow-up survey had a response rate of 88.6%, and the second follow-up survey had a response rate of 86.1%. 93% of firms completed at least one of the follow-up surveys
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Computer Assisted Personal Interview [capi]
The following questionnaires were used for data collection and they are provided as supporting documentation:
- BaselineQuestionnaire.pdf - the baseline training manual and questionnaire
- Codebook_Baseline_Survey.xls - a codebook for the baseline questionnaire
- GEM First Follow-Up Survey.pdf - the first follow-up survey
- GEM Follow-p Survey_Round2.pdf - the second follow-up survey
- GEM consultant and trainer questionnaire.pdf - questionnaire on background of Trainers and Consultants
- SocialMediaScoring.xlsx - scoring questions for the 50 measures of social media quality
- GEMServiceProviderSurvey.xls - questionnaire given to business service providers
* InformationExperimentBaselineSurvey.pdf - baseline for the information experiment
* InformationExperimentFollowupSurvey.pdf - follow-up survey for the information experiment
All data have been anonymized to remove identifying information.
Public use for research purposes only
Anderson, Stephen and David McKenzie (2021) "Improving Business Practices and the Boundary of the Entrepreneur:
A Randomized Experiment Comparing Training, Consulting, Insourcing and Outsourcing", Journal of Political Economy, forthcoming, Replication Data.
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.
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Documentation of the Study
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