Henry Overman, London School of Economics. "Selling more, but only for a while: Evidence from the largest business support RCT in the UK"
Department seminar. Henry Overman is Professor of Economic Geography at LSE. He will present the paper: "Selling more, but only for a while: Evidence from the largest business support RCT in the UK".
In this paper we evaluate the impact of the Growth Vouchers Programme (GVP), which offered diagnostic support to all applicants and subsidised business advice to a group of randomly selected firms from a pool of 20,283 small and medium size enterprises between 2014 and 2015 in the UK. Using administrative and survey data, we show that the programme increased turnover by 8.2% but only in the short-term, through improvements in capabilities and practices. We document large heterogeneity by type of diagnostic, theme of advice and firm age. Receiving advice on sales & marketing led to a large persistent effect on turnover, while advice on raising finance led to a large negative effect. We also demonstrate that for firm-level evaluations, propensity score matching introduces a sizeable bias, that grows over time.