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Network Proximity and Business Practices in African Manufcaturing

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  • Marcel Fafchamps
  • Mans Soderbom

Abstract

We document empirical patterns of correlation in the adoption of technological innovation and contractural practices among manfacturing firms in Ethiopia and Sudan. The analysis is based upon network data indicating whether any two firms in our sample do business with each other, whether they buy inputs from a common supplier and whether they sell output to a common client. We only find limited support for the commonly held idea that firms that are more proximate in a network sense are more likely to adopt similar practices. For certain practices, adoption decisions appear instead to be local strategic substitutes: if ones firms in a given location is using a certain practice, others nearby are less likely to do so. These results appear out of tune with policy discussion of how the economic performance of African's manufcaturing sector can be improved.

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Paper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 2011-08.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2011-08

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