IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Exchange rate movements and manufacturing employment in Tunisia: Do different categories of firms react similarly?


  • Mourad Zmami


  • Ousama Ben-Salha



Based on a micro-level dataset composed of 548 firms operating in Tunisian manufacturing industries, we examine the effects of exchange rates on employment over the period 1997–2002. The estimation of a dynamic employment equation using the system GMM technique suggests that employment positively responds to the depreciation of effective exchange rates and bilateral exchange rates vis-à-vis the Euro and the US dollar. Moreover, the different elasticities of employment to exchange rates vary according to specific characteristics of firms such as the ownership structure, the international exposure, the size and the industries to which they belong. Finally, using different measures of volatility, we confirm that the exchange rate volatility significantly lowers the employment level in all categories of firms. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Mourad Zmami & Ousama Ben-Salha, 2015. "Exchange rate movements and manufacturing employment in Tunisia: Do different categories of firms react similarly?," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 137-167, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:ecopln:v:48:y:2015:i:2:p:137-167 DOI: 10.1007/s10644-015-9158-6

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Aizenman, Joshua & Marion, Nancy, 1999. "Volatility and Investment: Interpreting Evidence from Developing Countries," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(262), pages 157-179, May.
    2. Jose Manuel Campa & Linda S. Goldberg, 2001. "Employment Versus Wage Adjustment And The U.S. Dollar," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 477-489, August.
    3. Darby, Julia, et al, 1999. "The Impact of Exchange Rate Uncertainty on the Level of Investment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(454), pages 55-67, March.
    4. Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
    5. Andrew Berg & Yanliang Miao, 2010. "The Real Exchange Rate and Growth Revisited; The Washington Consensus Strikes Back?," IMF Working Papers 10/58, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Willem Thorbecke, 2011. "The Effect Of Exchange Rate Changes On Trade In East Asia," Journal of International Commerce, Economics and Policy (JICEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 2(01), pages 85-102.
    7. Frenkel, Roberto & Ros, Jaime, 2006. "Unemployment and the real exchange rate in Latin America," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 631-646, April.
    8. Arratibel, Olga & Furceri, Davide & Martin, Reiner & Zdzienicka, Aleksandra, 2011. "The effect of nominal exchange rate volatility on real macroeconomic performance in the CEE countries," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 261-277, June.
    9. Fung, Loretta & Liu, Jin-Tan, 2009. "The impact of real exchange rate movements on firm performance: A case study of Taiwanese manufacturing firms," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 85-96, January.
    10. Dani Rodrik, 2008. "The Real Exchange Rate and Economic Growth," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(2 (Fall)), pages 365-439.
    11. Monia Ghazali, 2012. "Trade, Technology and the Demand for Skills in Tunisia, 1998--2002," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(2), pages 213-230, June.
    12. Herrerias, M.J. & Cuadros, A. & Orts, V., 2013. "Energy intensity and investment ownership across Chinese provinces," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 286-298.
    13. Kristin J Forbes, 2002. "How Do Large Depreciations Affect Firm Performance?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 49(Special i), pages 214-238.
    14. Richard Blundell & Stephen Bond, 2000. "GMM Estimation with persistent panel data: an application to production functions," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 321-340.
    15. Richard Baldwin & Paul Krugman, 1989. "Persistent Trade Effects of Large Exchange Rate Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(4), pages 635-654.
    16. Jimborean, Ramona, 2013. "The exchange rate pass-through in the new EU member states," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 302-329.
    17. Stewart Ngandu, 2008. "Exchange Rates And Employment," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 76(s2), pages 205-221, August.
    18. Milner, Chris & Wright, Peter, 1998. "Modelling Labour Market Adjustment to Trade Liberalisation in an Industrialising Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 509-528, March.
    19. Balassa, Bela, 1971. "Trade Policies in Developing Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(2), pages 178-187, May.
    20. Klein, Michael W. & Schuh, Scott & Triest, Robert K., 2003. "Job creation, job destruction, and the real exchange rate," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 239-265, March.
    21. Hayakawa, Kazunobu & Kimura, Fukunari, 2009. "The effect of exchange rate volatility on international trade in East Asia," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 395-406, December.
    22. Baldwin, Richard, 1988. "Hyteresis in Import Prices: The Beachhead Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 773-785, September.
    23. Ansgar Belke & Ralph Setzer, 2003. "Exchange Rate Volatility and Employment Growth: Empirical Evidence from the CEE Economies," CESifo Working Paper Series 1056, CESifo Group Munich.
    24. Paul De Grauwe, 1988. "Exchange Rate Variability and the Slowdown in Growth of International Trade," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 35(1), pages 63-84, March.
    25. Ben Salha, Ousama, 2013. "Does economic globalization affect the level and volatility of labor demand by skill? New insights from the Tunisian manufacturing industries," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 572-597.
    26. Bollerslev, Tim, 1986. "Generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 307-327, April.
    27. Ben Salha Ousama, 2013. "Economic Globalization, Wages and Wage Inequality in Tunisia: An ARDL Bounds Testing Approach," Review of Middle East Economics and Finance, De Gruyter, vol. 9(3), pages 321-356, December.
    28. repec:dau:papers:123456789/11524 is not listed on IDEAS
    29. Ping Hua, 2007. "Real exchange rate and manufacturing employment in China," Post-Print hal-00159151, HAL.
    30. Ansgar Belke & Matthias Göcke & Martin Günther, 2013. "Exchange Rate Bands Of Inaction And Play-Hysteresis In German Exports—Sectoral Evidence For Some Oecd Destinations," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(1), pages 152-179, February.
    31. Myint Moe Chit & Marian Rizov & Dirk Willenbockel, 2010. "Exchange Rate Volatility and Exports: New Empirical Evidence from the Emerging East Asian Economies," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(2), pages 239-263, February.
    32. Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 5474.
    33. Talavera, Oleksandr & Tsapin, Andriy & Zholud, Oleksandr, 2012. "Macroeconomic uncertainty and bank lending: The case of Ukraine," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 279-293.
    34. Demir, Firat, 2010. "Exchange Rate Volatility and Employment Growth in Developing Countries: Evidence from Turkey," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 1127-1140, August.
    35. Roberto FRENKEL, 2004. "Real exchange rate and employment in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico," Iktisat Isletme ve Finans, Bilgesel Yayincilik, vol. 19(223), pages 29-52.
    36. Nucci, Francesco & Pozzolo, Alberto F., 2001. "Investment and the exchange rate: An analysis with firm-level panel data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 259-283, February.
    37. Dekle, Robert, 1998. "The yen and Japanese manufacturing employment," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 785-801, October.
    38. Ansgar Belke, 2005. "Exchange Rate Movements and Unemployment in the EU Accession Countries-A Panel Analysis," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(2), pages 249-263, May.
    39. Mohsen Bahmani-Oskooee & Ida A. Mirzaie & Ilir Miteza, 2007. "Sectoral Employment, Wages and the Exchange Rate: Evidence from the U.S," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 125-136, Winter.
    40. International Monetary Fund, 2002. "Tunisia’s Experience with Real Exchange Rate Targeting and the Transition to a Flexible Exchange Rate Regime," IMF Working Papers 02/190, International Monetary Fund.
    41. Eduardo Pontual Ribeiro & Carlos Corseuil & Daniel Santos & Paulo Furtado & Brunu Amorim & Luciana Servo & Andre Souza, 2004. "Trade liberalization, the exchange rate and job flows in Brazil," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(4), pages 209-223.
    42. Hua, Ping, 2007. "Real exchange rate and manufacturing employment in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 335-353.
    43. Ansgar Belke & Matthias Göcke, 2005. "Real Options Effects on Employment: Does Exchange Rate Uncertainty Matter for Aggregation?," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 6(2), pages 185-203, May.
    44. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    45. Windmeijer, Frank, 2005. "A finite sample correction for the variance of linear efficient two-step GMM estimators," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 25-51, May.
    46. Wanjoong Kim, 2005. "Analyses Of The Relationship Between Exchange Rates And Employment In Korea," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 30(2), pages 131-153, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Carlos A. Ibarra, 2016. "Investment, asset market, and the relative unit labor cost in Mexico," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 49(4), pages 339-364, November.
    2. Mourad Zmami & Ousama Ben-Salha, 2015. "The adjustment of plant-level investment to exchange rate fluctuations in Tunisia: do the size and the ownership structure matter?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(4), pages 2487-2505.

    More about this item


    Employment; System GMM; Exchange rate; Tunisia; F31; E24; C23;

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:ecopln:v:48:y:2015:i:2:p:137-167. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.