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Learning to Export: Evidence from Moroccan Manufacturing †

Author

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  • Marcel Fafchamps
  • Said El Hamine
  • Albert Zeufack

Abstract

This paper tests two alternative models of selection into export: lower costs and better market familiarity. Both are potentially subject to learning-by-doing, but differ in the type of experience required. Learning to produce at lower cost -- what we call productivity learning -- depends on general experience, while learning to design products that appeal to foreign consumers -- market learning -- depends on export experience. Using panel and cross-section data on Moroccan manufacturers, we uncover evidence of market learning but little is evidence that productivity learning is what enables firms to export. These findings are consistent with the concentration of Moroccan manufacturing exports in consumer items, i.e., the garment, textile, and leather sectors. It is the young firms that export. Most do so immediately after creation. We also find that, among exporters, new products are exported very rapidly after production has begun. The share of exported output nevertheless increases for 2--3 years after a new product is introduced, which is indicative of some learning. Old firms are unlikely to switch to exports, even in response to changes in macro incentives. Copyright 2008 The author 2007. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Centre for the Study of African Economies. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcel Fafchamps & Said El Hamine & Albert Zeufack, 2008. "Learning to Export: Evidence from Moroccan Manufacturing †," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 17(2), pages 305-355, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:17:y:2008:i:2:p:305-355
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jae/ejm008
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Nicholas Sheard, 2014. "Learning to Export and the Timing of Entry to Export Markets," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(3), pages 536-560, August.
    2. Trinh, Long Q., 2016. "Dynamics of Innovation and Internationalization among Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Viet Nam," ADBI Working Papers 580, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    3. Martínez-Zarzoso, Inmaculada, 2012. "Exporting and productivity: Evidence for Egypt and Morocco," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 136, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    4. repec:got:cegedp:136 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Youssouf KIENDREBEOGO, 2012. "Export Activity and Productivity: New Evidence from the Egyptian Manufacturing Industry," Working Papers 201220, CERDI.
    6. Mohamed Chaffai & Patrick Plane, 2017. "Firm Productivity, Technology and Export Status, What Can We Learn from Egyptian Industries?," Working Papers 1134, Economic Research Forum, revised 09 Jun 2017.
    7. Pekka Ilmakunnas & Satu Nurmi, 2010. "Dynamics of Export Market Entry and Exit," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 112(1), pages 101-126, March.
    8. repec:eee:indorg:v:60:y:2018:i:c:p:126-178 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:pal:jintbs:v:49:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1057_s41267-017-0118-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Marcel Fafchamps, 2009. "Human Capital, Exports, and Earnings," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(1), pages 111-141, October.
    11. Cui Hu & Faqin Lin & Xiaosong Wang, 2016. "Learning from exporting in China," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 24(2), pages 299-334, April.
    12. Fafchamps, Marcel & Hamine, Said El, 2017. "Firm productivity, wages, and agglomeration externalities," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 291-305.
    13. Montalbano, Pierluigi & Nenci, Silvia & Pietrobelli, Carlo, 2017. "Opening and linking up: Firms, global value chains and productivity in Latin America," MERIT Working Papers 030, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    14. Naudé, Wim & Matthee, Marianne, 2012. "Do Export Costs Matter in Determining Whether, When, and How Much African Firms Export?," Working Papers 38, JICA Research Institute.
    15. repec:eee:wdevel:v:99:y:2017:i:c:p:141-159 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Marcel Fafchamps & Måns Söderbom, 2014. "Network Proximity and Business Practices in African Manufacturing," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 28(1), pages 99-129.
    17. Bratti, Massimiliano & Felice, Giulia, 2018. "Product innovation by supplying domestic and foreign markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 126-178.
    18. repec:kap:sbusec:v:50:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s11187-017-9902-6 is not listed on IDEAS

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