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Zambian manufacturing performance in comparative perspective

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  • Szirmai, Adam
  • Yamfwa, Francis
  • Lwamba, Chibwe

    (Groningen University)

Abstract

This paper presents an analysis of Zambian manufacturing performance since 1964. It presents new estimates of labour productivity growth and total factor productivity growth. After a period of growth and labour productivity improvement till 1974, Zambian manufacturing suffered from increasing inefficiencies in an import substituting and interventionist environment. Growth of output slowed down, labour productivity and investment declined, though TFP showed some fluctuation. In the period of liberalisation between 1991-95, output shrank dramatically, TFP collapsed and labour productivity continued to decline. After 1995 indicators of performance point to a modest recovery. Following an industry-of-origin approach to international comparisons, the Zambian estimates are placed in comparative perspective in a binary comparison with the USA. In 1990, labour productivity in Zambia stood at 5.9 percent of the US level, while relative total factor productivity stood at 16.7 percent. Over time comparative labour productivity has been declining, indicating an increasing technology gap relative to the world frontier. By 1998, comparative labour productivity stood at 3.2 percent of the US level.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen in its series GGDC Research Memorandum with number 200253.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:rugggd:200253

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  1. Maddison, Angus, 1994. "Standardised Estimates of Fixed Capital Stock: A Six Country Comparison," GGDC Research Memorandum 199409, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
  2. Paul Collier & Jan Willem Gunning, 1999. "Why Has Africa Grown Slowly?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
  3. van Ark, Bart & Maddison, Angus, 1988. "Comparisons of real output in manufacturing," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5, The World Bank.
  4. Jan Willem Gunning & Paul Collier, 1999. "Explaining African Economic Performance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 64-111, March.
  5. Maddison, Angus & Ark, Bart van, 1994. "The international comparison of real product and productivity," GGDC Research Memorandum 199406, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
  6. Timmer, Marcel P., 1996. "On the Reliability of Unit Value Ratios in International Comparisons," GGDC Research Memorandum 199631, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
  7. Dhaneshwar Ghura & Anupam Basu & Evangelos A. Calamitsis, 1999. "Adjustment and Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Working Papers 99/51, International Monetary Fund.
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Cited by:
  1. Lim, A., 2003. "Inter-firm Alliances during Pre-standardization in ICT," Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS) working paper series 03.03, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS).
  2. Timmer, Marcel P., 1999. "Climbing the technology ladder too fast? : an international comparison of productivity in South and East-Asian manufacturing, 1963-1993," CCSO Working Papers 199919, University of Groningen, CCSO Centre for Economic Research.
  3. Szirmai, Adam, 2012. "Proximate, intermediate and ultimate causality: Theories and experiences of growth and development," MERIT Working Papers 032, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  4. Szirmai, Adam, 2012. "Proximate, intermediate and ultimate causality: Theories and experiences of growth and development," MERIT Working Papers 032, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  5. Keizer, J.A. & Vos, J.P., 2003. "Diagnosing risks in new product development," Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS) working paper series 03.11, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS).
  6. Szirmai, Adam, 2009. "Industrialisation as an engine of growth in developing countries," MERIT Working Papers 010, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

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