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Exporting from manufacturing firms in Sub-Saharan Africa

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  • Francis Teal
  • MÃ¥ns Söderbom
  • Neil Rankin

Abstract

The poor performance of many African economies has been associated with low growth of exports in general and of manufacturing exports in particular. In this paper we draw on micro evidence of manufacturing firms in five African countries - Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, South Africa and Nigeria - to investigate the cause of poor exporting performance. We exploit a data set which has a much longer panel dimension than has been used before to assess the relative importance of self-selection based on efficiency and firm size as determinants of export participation. We show that firm size is a robust determinant of the decision to export. It is not a proxy for efficiency, for capital intensity, for sector or for time-invariant unobservables. In contrast the evidence for self-selection into exporting is very weak. Finally our use of a longer run panel than has been available before has allowed us to separate out the roles of ownership and skills as possible determinants of participation in exporting. We find that both foreign ownership and skills are significant determinants of exporting.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number GPRG-WPS-036.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 2005
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:gprg-wps-036

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References

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  1. Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2003. "Exporting Raises Productivity in Sub-Saharan African Manufacturing Plants," NBER Working Papers 10020, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Mans Soderbom & Francis Teal, 2000. "Skills, investment and exports from manufacturing firms in Africa," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-08, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  3. A. Isgut, 2001. "What's Different about Exporters? Evidence from Colombian Manufacturing," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(5), pages 57-82.
  4. Francis Teal & Måns Söderbom & Francis Teal, 2000. "Skills, investment and exports from manufacturing firms in Africa," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2000-08, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. M�ns S–derbom & Francis Teal, 2003. "Are Manufacturing Exports the Key to Economic Success in Africa?," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 12(1), pages 1-29, March.
  7. Soderbom, Mans & Teal, Francis, 2004. "Size and efficiency in African manufacturing firms: evidence from firm-level panel data," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 369-394, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Hoekstra, Ruth, 2013. "Boosting Manufacturing Firms' Exports? The role of trade facilitation in Africa," IEE Working Papers 197, Institut fuer Entwicklungsforschung und Entwicklungspolitik, Ruhr-Universitaet Bochum.
  2. Koren, Miklós & Tenreyro, Silvana, 2007. "Technological Diversification," CEPR Discussion Papers 6523, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Boermans, Martijn Adriaan, 2010. "Learning-by-Exporting and Destination Effects: Evidence from African SMEs," MPRA Paper 22658, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 09 May 2010.
  4. Gozde Isik & Yutaka Yoshino, 2010. "Patterns of Foreign Direct Investment Flows and Trade-Investment Inter-Linkages in Southern Africa : Linking Middle-Income and Low-Income Neighbors," World Bank Other Operational Studies 12990, The World Bank.
  5. Mina Baliamoune-Lutz, 2011. "Growth by Destination (Where You Export Matters): Trade with China and Growth in African Countries," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 23(2), pages 202-218.
  6. Walkenhorst, Peter & Cattaneo, Olivier, 2006. "Trade, Diversification and Growth in Nigeria," MPRA Paper 23735, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Francis Teal, 2010. "Higher Education and Economic Development in Africa: a Review of Channels and Interactions," Economics Series Working Papers CSAE WPS/2010-25, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  8. Brach, Juliane & Naudé, Wim, 2012. "International entrepreneurship and technological capabilities in the Middle East and North Africa," MERIT Working Papers 020, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  9. World Bank, 2007. "Nigeria - Competitiveness and Growth : Country Economic Memorandum, Volume 2. Main Report," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7824, The World Bank.
  10. 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.
  11. Egbert, Henrik & Fischer, Gundula & Bredl, Sebastian, 2009. "Advertisements or friends? Formal and informal recruitment methods in Tanzania," Discussion Papers 46, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Center for international Development and Environmental Research (ZEU).
  12. Yoshino, Yutaka, 2008. "Domestic constraints, firm characteristics, and geographical diversification of firm-level manufacturing exports in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4575, The World Bank.
  13. Edwards, Lawrence & Balchin, Neil, 2008. "Trade related business climate and manufacturing export performance in Africa: A firm-level analysis," MPRA Paper 32863, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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