Evaluating the Long-Term Effect of NIST MEP Services on Establishment Performance

Title: Evaluating the Long-Term Effect of NIST MEP Services on Establishment Performance
Format: Working Paper
Publication Date: March 2015
Description: This work examines the effects of receipt of business assistance services from the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) on manufacturing establishment performance. Several measures of performance are considered: (1) change in value-added per employee (a measure of productivity); (2) change in sales per worker; (3) change in employment; and (4) establishment survival. To analyze these relationships, we merged program records from the MEP’s client and project information files with administrative records from the Census of Manufacturers and other Census databases over the periods 1997–2002 and 2002–2007 to compare the outcomes and performance of “served” and “unserved” manufacturing establishments. The approach builds on, updates, and expands upon earlier studies comparing matched MEP client and non-client performance over time periods ending in 1992 and 2002. Our results generally indicate that MEP services had positive and significant impacts on establishment productivity and sales per worker for the 2002–2007 period with some exceptions based on employment size, industry, and type of service provided. MEP services also increased the probability of establishment survival for the 1997–2007 period. Regardless of econometric model specification, MEP clients with 1–19 employees have statistically significant and higher levels of labor productivity growth. We also observed significant productivity differences associated with MEP services by broad sector, with higher impacts over the 2002–2007 time period in the durable goods manufacturing sector. The study further finds that establishments receiving MEP assistance are more likely to survive than those that do not receive MEP assistance. Detailed findings of the study, as well as caveats and limitations, are discussed in the paper.
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Citation: 45pgs. Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau. Publisher's Site.
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  • School of Public Policy