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Learning to export: evidence from Moroccan manufacturing

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  • Marcel Fafchamps
  • Said El Hamine
  • Albert Zeufack

Abstract

This paper test two alternative models of learning to export; productivity learning, whereby firms learn to reduce production costs, and market learning, whereby firms learn to design products that appeal to foreign consumers. Using panel and cross-section data on Moroccan manufacturers, we uncover evidence of market learning but little evidence of productivity learning. These findings are consistent with the concentration of Moroccan manufacturing exports in consumer items, i.e. the garment, textile, and leather sectors. It is the young firms that export. Most do so immediately after creation. We also find that, among exporters, new products are exported very rapidly after production has begun. The share of exported output nevertheless increases 2-3 years after a new product is introduced. Old firms are unlikely to switch to exports, even in response to changes in macro incentives. We find a positive relationship between exports and productivity and conclude that it is the result of self-selection: it is the more productive firms that move into exports. Policy implications are discussed.

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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 2002-02.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2002-02

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Cited by:
  1. Albert Park & Dean Yang & Xinzheng Shi & Yuan Jiang, 2006. "Exporting and Firm Performance: Chinese Exporters and the Asian Financial Crisis," Working Papers 549, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  2. Marcel Fafchamps & Måns Söderbom, 2004. "Wages and Labor Management in African Manufacturing," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2004-02, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. Arne Bigsten & Paul Collier & Stefan Dercon & Marcel Fafchamps & Bernard Gauthier & Jan Willem Gunning & Abena Oduro & Remco Oostendorp & Catherine Pattillo & M�ns Soderbom & Francis Teal & Albert Z, 2004. "Do African Manufacturing Firms Learn from Exporting?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(3), pages 115-141.
  4. Ana M. Fernandes & Alberto E. Isgut, 2005. "Learning-by-Doing, Learning-by-Exporting, and Productivity: Evidence from Colombia," DEGIT Conference Papers c010_018, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  5. Van Biesebroeck, Johannes, 2005. "Exporting raises productivity in sub-Saharan African manufacturing firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 373-391, December.
  6. Benhassine, Najy & Fafchamps, Marcel & Söderbom, Måns, 2006. "Wage Gaps and Job Sorting in African Manufacturing," CEPR Discussion Papers 6003, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Harabi, Najib, 2003. "Déterminants de la croissance des entreprises: Une analyse empirique du Maroc
    [Determinants of Firm Growth: An Empirical Analysis from Morocco]
    ," MPRA Paper 4440, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Kazuhiko Yokota & Akinori Tomohara, 2009. "Extending the Learning-By-Exporting Hypothesis: Introducing a Credit Constraint," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 169-177, May.
  9. Marcel Fafchampsm & Måns Söderbom, 2006. "Wages and Labor Management in African Manufacturing," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(2).
  10. Harabi, Najib, 2005. "Determinants of Firm Growth: An Empirical Analysis from Morocco," MPRA Paper 4394, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Edwards, Lawrence & Rankin, Neil A. & Schöer, Volker, 2008. "South African exporting firms: What do we know and what should we know?," MPRA Paper 16906, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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