Small Firms and the Pandemic: Evidence From Latin America


This paper studies the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses using new daily survey data on 35,000 small businesses in eight Latin American countries. The shock had large negative impacts on employment and beliefs regarding the future, which in turn predict meaningful economic outcomes in the medium-term. Despite the unprecedented amount of aid available to small businesses, policy reach has been limited and frictions related to design and implementation screened out small firms and informal firms. These frictions may have lasting consequences, as businesses that received aid reported better outcomes and expectations about the future.

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Implementation in Latin America

Sequence of Interventions


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  • Coauthors: Maria Elena Guerrero, John Eric Humphries, Naomi Shimberg, Gabriel Ulyssea
  • Published: Journal of Development Economics (March 2022)
  • Date: 2022
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