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Export Orientation and Productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa

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  • Catherine A. Pattillo
  • Taye Mengistae

Abstract

Analysis of firm-level panel data from three sub-Saharan African economies shows that exporting manufacturers have a total factor productivity premium of 11-28 percent. The data do not allow testing of whether these premiums are caused by selection of more efficient producers into exporting or by learning-by-exporting. By thinking about the mechanisms behind selectivity and learning, however, our finding of higher premiums for direct exporters and exporters to outside Africa could be interpreted as being consistent with learning-by-exporting effects. However, if learning-by-exporting is indeed present in the data, we cannot disentangle its effect on productivity from those of more traditionally recognized channels of international technology diffusion.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 02/89.

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Length: 30
Date of creation: 01 May 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:02/89

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Keywords: Productivity; exporters; exporter; equation; export markets; export market; export orientation; survey; standard errors; samples; dummy variables; statistics; exporting firms; surveys; descriptive statistics; correlation; export sector; sampling; cross-country variation; time series; estimation of equation; international markets; optimization; causation; export status; random variable; probability; measurement error; export business; export activity; sampling design; random error; confidence interval; equations; empirical model; logarithm;

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  1. Grether, Jean-Marie, 1999. "Determinants of Technological Diffusion in Mexican Manufacturing: A Plant-Level Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 1287-1298, July.
  2. Bernard, Andrew B. & Bradford Jensen, J., 1999. "Exceptional exporter performance: cause, effect, or both?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-25, February.
  3. Coe, David T & Helpman, Elhanan & Hoffmaister, Alexander W, 1997. "North-South R&D Spillovers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(440), pages 134-49, January.
  4. Magnus Blomstrom & Fredrik Sjoholm, 1998. "Technology Transfer and Spillovers? Does Local Participation with Multinationals Matter?," NBER Working Papers 6816, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Helleiner, G.K., 1989. "Transnational corporations and direct foreign investment," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 27, pages 1441-1480 Elsevier.
  6. Paul Collier & Marcel Fafchamps & Francis Teal & Stefan Dercon, 2000. "Exports and Firm - level Efficiency in African Manufacturing," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2000-16, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  7. MacDonald, James M, 1994. "Does Import Competition Force Efficient Production?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(4), pages 721-27, November.
  8. Sofronis K. Clerides & Saul Lach & James R. Tybout, 1998. "Is Learning By Exporting Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence From Colombia, Mexico, And Morocco," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 903-947, August.
  9. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
  10. Jin-Tan Liu & Meng-Wen Tsou & James Hammitt, 1999. "Export activity and productivity: Evidence from the Taiwan electronics industry," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 135(4), pages 675-691, December.
  11. Griffith, Rachel, 1999. "Using the ARD Establishment Level Data to Look at Foreign Ownership and Productivity in the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages F416-42, June.
  12. Aw, B. -Y. & Hwang, A. R., 1995. "Productivity and the export market: A firm-level analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 313-332, August.
  13. Roberts, Mark J & Tybout, James R, 1997. "The Decision to Export in Colombia: An Empirical Model of Entry with Sunk Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 545-64, September.
  14. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  15. Bee Yan Aw & Sukkyun Chung & Mark J. Roberts, 1998. "Productivity and the Decision to Export: Micro Evidence from Taiwan and South Korea," NBER Working Papers 6558, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Ann E. Harrison & Brian J. Aitken, 1999. "Do Domestic Firms Benefit from Direct Foreign Investment? Evidence from Venezuela," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 605-618, June.
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