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Importing, Productivity and Absorptive Capacity in Sub-Saharan African Manufacturing and Services Firms

Listed author(s):
  • Neil Foster-McGregor

    ()

    (UNU-MERIT)

  • Anders Isaksson

    ()

    (United Nations Industrial Development Organization)

  • Florian Kaulich

    ()

    (Vienna University of Economics and Business)

Abstract This paper examines the relationship between importing and firm-level productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa. Using a recent firm-level survey for 19 Sub-Saharan African countries, the paper shows that there is a positive and significant relationship between importing and productivity for both manufacturing and services firms. Using a series of robustness tests, the paper finds that the importer-productivity relationship is robust in the case of manufacturing firms, but the results for services appear sensitive to the presence of extreme values. Finally, the paper shows that manufacturing firms with the highest levels of human capital show the strongest relationship between importing and productivity, a result consistent with a role for absorptive capacity in maximising the benefits of importing.

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File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s11079-015-9367-7
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Open Economies Review.

Volume (Year): 27 (2016)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 87-117

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Handle: RePEc:kap:openec:v:27:y:2016:i:1:d:10.1007_s11079-015-9367-7
DOI: 10.1007/s11079-015-9367-7
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Order Information: Web: http://www.springer.com/economics/international+economics/journal/11079/PS2

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