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Gradual Trade Liberalization and Firm Performance in Ethiopia


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  • Mans Soderbom
  • Arne Bigsten and Mulu Gebreeyesus


We use firm-level data for the Ethiopian manufacturing sector matched with commodity-level data on tariffs to examine the effect of trade liberalization on firm performance during the 1997-2005 period.� We find relatively large positive effects of tariff reductions on total factor productivity, a result that is robust to treating tariffs as endogenous, and to various generalizations of the baseline model.� This effect is primarily driven by mechanisms operating at high tariff levels, suggesting that excessive tariff levels may be particularly distortionary.� We find some evidence that the reduction of tariffs has resulted in smaller and more capital-intensive domestic firms.� We note that these effects are consistent with the hypothesis that the trade liberalization has increased competition in the domestic market.� We find no significant effect of the trade liberalization on entry or exit rates.

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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number CSAE WPS/2009-21.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2009
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:csae-wps/2009-21

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Cited by:
  1. Yonas Alem and Mans Soderbom, 2010. "Household-Level Consumption in Urban Ethiopia: The Impact of Food Price Inflation and Idiosyncratic Shocks," Economics Series Working Papers CSAE WPS/2010-24, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Alem, Yonas & Söderbom, Måns, 2012. "Household-Level Consumption in Urban Ethiopia: The Effects of a Large Food Price Shock," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 146-162.
  3. Haile, Getinet Astatike & Srour, Ilina & Vivarelli, Marco, 2013. "The Impact of Globalization and Technology Transfer on Manufacturing Employment and Skills in Ethiopia," IZA Discussion Papers 7820, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).


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