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Why can Mauritius export manufactures and Ghana not?

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  • Francis Teal

Abstract

Exports of labour-intensive manufactures from sub-Saharan Africa are negligible with the exception of Mauritius. Such exports from Ghana are low relative to other sub-Saharan African countries and relative to what would be predicted by its factor endowment. Firm level data from the two countries is used to assess the reasons for this poor performance. Large firms (those with more than 100 employees) are much more likely to be in the export market than smaller firms. It is shown that Mauritian firms are four times more efficient than those in Ghana while wages are six times higher. However for large firms the productivity differential is similar but wages in Mauritius are only three times those in Ghana. Large firms in Ghana cannot compete with those from Mauritius due to their high wages relative to productivity.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 1999-10.

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Date of creation: 1999
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Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:1999-10

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Keywords: Productivity; wages; manufacturing exports; sub-Saharan Africa.;

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Cited by:
  1. Francis Teal & Måns Söderbom & Francis Teal, 2000. "Skills, investment and exports from manufacturing firms in Africa," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2000-08, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Maswana, Jean-Claude, 2006. "Economic Development Patterns and Outcomes in Africa and Asia," MPRA Paper 5551, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Francis Teal, 2000. "Private Sector Wages and Poverty in Ghana: 1988-1998," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2000-06, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  4. Jens Krüger, 2009. "How Do Firms Organize Trade? Evidence from Ghana," Kiel Advanced Studies Working Papers 449, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  5. Floribert Ngaruko, 2003. "Agricultural Export Performance in Africa: Elements of comparison with Asia," Working Papers 03-09, Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA).
  6. W. A. Naudé, 2004. "The effects of policy, institutions and geography on economic growth in Africa: an econometric study based on cross-section and panel data," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(6), pages 821-849.
  7. Eifert, Benn & Gelb, Alan & Ramachandran, Vijaya, 2008. "The Cost of Doing Business in Africa: Evidence from Enterprise Survey Data," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 1531-1546, September.
  8. Shashidhara Kolavalli & Elizabeth Robinson & Guyslain Ngeleza & Felix Asante, 2012. "Economic Transformation in Ghana: Where Will the Path Lead?," Journal of African Development, African Finance and Economic Association, vol. 14(2), pages 41-78.
  9. Gilroy, Bernard Michael & Gries, Thomas & Naudé, Willem & Schmidt, Karl-Heinz & Bauer, Norbert, 2001. "Multinational Enterprises in Africa - A Study of German Firms in South Africa," MPRA Paper 17868, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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