Publication Date



Upjohn Institute Working Paper No. 03-94

**Published Version**

In Economic Development and Cultural Change 54(1): [33]-70 (2005).




Although the development of a new private sector is generally considered crucial to economic transition, there has been relatively little empirical research on the determinants of startup firm growth. This paper uses panel data techniques to analyze a survey of 297 new small enterprises in Romania containing detailed information from the startup date through 2001. We find strong evidence that access to external credit increases the growth of both employment and sales. Taxes appear to constrain growth. The data suggest that entrepreneurial skills have little independent effect on growth, once demand conditions are taken into account. The evidence for the effectiveness of technical assistance is weak: only assistance provided by foreign partners yields a positive effect. A wide variety of alternative measures of the business environment (contract enforcement, property rights, and corruption) are tested, but none are found to have any clear association with firm growth.

Issue Date

June 2004


Financially supported by USAID and Phare ACE. The research for this paper was funded in part through U.S. Dept. of State Grant Number S-LMAQM-00-H-0146 and administered by the William Davidson Institute.

Subject Areas

INTERNATIONAL ISSUES; International labor comparisons; Transition economies; ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT; Regional policy and planning; Business and tax incentives


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Brown, J. David, John S. Earle, and Dana Lup. 2004. "What Makes Small Firms Grow? Finance, Human Capital, Technical Assistance, and the Business Environment in Romania." Upjohn Institute Working Paper No. 03-94. Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.