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What drives the substantial differences in productivity across countries is one of the key questions economists look to shed light on. There are several lines of research that pick at different areas of the black box of economic development, and one that we think is crucial is structures of corporate ownership and control. However, there is surprisingly little detailed data available on this.

The Ownership Survey grew out of this need for understanding the path of ownership firms choose to take, and why they make these choices. We aim to understand the constraints faced and choices taken, with the ultimate goal of developing and encouraging high quality research and informing public policy.

The first wave of the Ownership Survey was carried out with the support of the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics, and we interviewed over 2,000 firm managers and owners in Africa and Latin America. The response has been overwhelmingly positive and gave us the motivation to expand the project initiative.

The second wave of the project was run with the support of the World Bank to collect data for a new random sample of firms in Brazil.

The third and current wave is a larger effort to collect data on a sample of firms in several countries in Africa and South Asia; an effort being generously supported by PEDL.

We warmly thank our project sponsors as well as the firm managers that make this research effort possible! Please do get in touch with any questions, queries or complaints.

If you are interested in supporting the Ownership Survey, please get in touch with us – details in the “Contact us” tab.