Absorptive Capacity and Export Diversification in Sub-Saharan African Countries
AbstractThis paper examines the extent to which dependence on primary commodities in Sub-Saharan African(SSA) countries can be explained by low levels of absorptive capacity (the ability to acquire, internalize and utilize knowledge developed elsewhere). We examine the individual and combined effects of various indicators of absorptive capacity on export diversification. We test the significance of these effects on a sub-sample consisting of SSA countries and a sample of other developing countries. Our results show that the association between higher levels human capital and basic infrastructure -two crucial components of absorptive capacity -with more export diversification is subject to threshold level effects, while the abundance of natural resources turns out to be impeding diversification in SSA. These results imply that SSA countries need to substantially increase their investments in basic infrastructure as well as reinforce the accumulation pace of human and physical capital to allow active technological learning and reduce their dependence on primary commodities.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) in its series MERIT Working Papers with number 030.
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
absorptive capacity; human capital; capital accumulation; export diversification; Sub-Saharan Africa.;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- O13 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
- O33 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
- O55 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa
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