by Asif Islam (LinkedIn, @AsifMIEcon) If you wanted to know about the business environment in developing countries directly from firms, where would you look? Typically, firm level survey data collection is undertaken by governments in their respective countries, but these data sets tend to shy away on certain topics such as corruption given that firms are less likely to respond to corruption questions on government implemented surveys.Furthermore, most survey level data collected by governments tend to adopt different sampling methodologies across countries drawing concerns about comparing across countries or regions.
Enterprise Surveys, a joint venture by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation, provides publicly available survey data on firms in developing economies. The data allows you to investigate hypothesis such as:
- What is the main source of funding for firms?
- Do firms make informal payments for permits?
- What are the sales per worker?
- What are losses suffered by firms due to crime?
- What do firms perceive as the main obstacle to their business?
More information is available on on various topics including access to finance, corruption, infrastructure, crime, competition, and performance measures. Enterprise surveys also adopts a common methodology in sampling which implies that the data is comparable across countries. Data is available for 130,000 firms across 135 countries. For details of the methodology and access to the data, visit http://www.enterprisesurveys.org/ and like us on Facebook for latest data updates: www.facebook.com/worldbankenterprisesurveys.