Business Size, Development, and Inequality in Latin America : A Tale of One Tail


  • Policy Research Working Paper Series The World Bank


  • Using official employment surveys for 45 advanced economies and Latin American countries, this paper shows that the positive cross-country correlation between business size and GDP per capita is tighter than previously found using firm-level datasets and finds a close negative business size-Gini relationship. The paper also finds a closer connection between individual income and business size for workers in less developed countries compared with those in advanced economies. Because employment data address the bias against the smallest productive units that characterize firm-level datasets, our approach uniquely assesses and highlights the dominance of the left tail of the business size distribution in less developed countries.

fecha de publicación

  • 2023

Líneas de investigación

  • Latin America
  • business size
  • developing economies
  • firm-level datasets
  • income inequality
  • micro-enterprises
  • self-employment


  • 10584