DP15813 Firms, Kinship and Economic Growth in the Kyrgyz Republic

Author(s): Paul Castaneda Dower, Theodore Gerber, Shlomo Weber
Publication Date: February 2021
Keyword(s): firm performance, Kinship networks, Kyrgyz Republic
JEL(s): O12, O14, O17, P23, Z13
Programme Areas: Development Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=15813

This paper addresses whether kinship networks promote or impede entrepreneurship in the Kyrgyz Republic. We conducted a survey of firm managers/entrepreneurs about their business networks, resources they receive from and provide to their contacts, their firm's performance, and the business environment they face. Our data indicate that receiving help from kin connections increases profitability, while providing help to kin decreases it. While kin-reliant firms grow slower than firms with a lower degree of kin assistance, the former grow faster than firms that do not have access to business networks. In addition, kin connections and firm performance are unrelated for firms that have adopted best business practices. Our results demonstrate that directly measuring both receipt and provision of help from/to kin helps resolve the ambiguity of findings in the broader literature regarding the net effects of kin networks on firm performance: the two forms of network use are positively correlated, yet have opposite effects.