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Domestic constraints, firm characteristics, and geographical diversification of firm-level manufacturing exports in Africa

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  • Yoshino, Yutaka

Abstract

Using firm-level data on manufacturing sectors in Africa, this paper addresses how domestic supply constraints and other firm characteristics explain the geographical orientation of firms'exports and the overall market diversification of African manufacturing exports. The degree of market diversification, measured by the number of export destinations, is highly correlated with export intensity at the firm level, and both embody strong scale effects. Technological factors, such as new vintage capital and Internet access, which improve production efficiency and lower export costs, show strong effects on the firm-level export intensity. Some qualitative differences exist between Africa's regional exports and exports to the global markets. Foreign ownership is a significant factor in characterizing the intensity of global exports but not regional exports. The technological factors are significant in both cases, but more so in global exports. Public infrastructure constraints, such as inferior power services and customs delays, seem to have more immediate impacts on regional exports in general, implying the relevance of addressing behind-the-border constraints in fostering regional integration in Africa. Customs efficiency does matter for textile exports to the global markets, underscoring the importance of improving trade facilitation in Africa for competitive participation of African producers in global supply chain industries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4575.

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Date of creation: 01 Mar 2008
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4575

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Keywords: Economic Theory&Research; Microfinance; Free Trade; Debt Markets; Markets and Market Access;

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  1. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Clarke, George, 2012. "Manufacturing firms in Africa: Some stylized facts about wages and productivity," MPRA Paper 36122, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Page, John, 2012. "Aid, Structural Change and the Private Sector in Africa," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  3. World Bank, 2009. "An Assessment of the Investment Climate in Uganda," World Bank Other Operational Studies 12249, The World Bank.
  4. Page, John, 2011. "Should Africa Industrialize?," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  5. Page, John & Soderbom, Mans, 2012. "Is Small Beautiful? Small Enterprise, Aid and Employment in Africa," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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