IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Learning by Exporting: The Case of Mozambican Manufacturing


  • Antonio Cruz
  • Carol Newman
  • John Rand
  • Finn Tarp


In this article, we analyse the learning-by-exporting (LBE) hypothesis in the Mozambican context. Due to the presence of the ‘Born-Global’ phenomenon among exporters, we address the endogeneity introduced by self-selection, combining a generalised Blinder–Oaxaca approach with results from traditional matching techniques. Our results show that very few manufacturing firms export, and that export participation is highly persistent. There is also evidence supporting the LBE hypothesis and the results suggest a significant export premium of between 17 and 21%, controlling for differences in observable characteristics between exporters and non-exporters. Finally, qualitative information on non-exporters seeking new markets suggests that ‘lack of knowledge of potential markets’ is the most severe constraint to international market entry. We conclude that the Mozambican Export Promotion Institute (IPEX) could play an important role in overcoming this information deficit for potential Mozambican exporters.

Suggested Citation

  • Antonio Cruz & Carol Newman & John Rand & Finn Tarp, 2017. "Learning by Exporting: The Case of Mozambican Manufacturing," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 26(1), pages 93-118.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:26:y:2017:i:1:p:93-118.

    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 look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James R. Tybout, 2000. "Manufacturing Firms in Developing Countries: How Well Do They Do, and Why?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 11-44, March.
    2. Jones, Sam & Tarp, Finn, 2013. "Jobs and Welfare in Mozambique," WIDER Working Paper Series 045, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    3. Arne Bigsten & Mulu Gebreeyesus, 2009. "Firm Productivity and Exports: Evidence from Ethiopian Manufacturing," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(10), pages 1594-1614.
    4. Kline, Patrick, 2014. "A note on variance estimation for the Oaxaca estimator of average treatment effects," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 122(3), pages 428-431.
    5. Sofronis K. Clerides & Saul Lach & James R. Tybout, 1998. "Is Learning by Exporting Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico, and Morocco," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 903-947.
    6. Arne Bigsten & Paul Collier & Stefan Dercon & Marcel Fafchamps & Bernard Gauthier & Jan Willem Gunning & Abena Oduro & Remco Oostendorp & Catherine Pattillo & Måns Soderbom & Francis Teal & Albert Zeu, 2004. "Do African Manufacturing Firms Learn from Exporting?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(3), pages 115-141.
    7. Joachim Wagner, 2012. "International trade and firm performance: a survey of empirical studies since 2006," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 148(2), pages 235-267, June.
    8. James Tybout, 2014. "The Missing Middle: Correspondence," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 235-236, Fall.
    9. Joachim Wagner, 2007. "Exports and Productivity: A Survey of the Evidence from Firm-level Data," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(1), pages 60-82, January.
    10. Pedro Martins & Yong Yang, 2009. "The impact of exporting on firm productivity: a meta-analysis of the learning-by-exporting hypothesis," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 145(3), pages 431-445, October.
    11. Aw, B. -Y. & Hwang, A. R., 1995. "Productivity and the export market: A firm-level analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 313-332, August.
    12. Fortin, Nicole & Lemieux, Thomas & Firpo, Sergio, 2011. "Decomposition Methods in Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    13. Alberto Abadie & David Drukker & Jane Leber Herr & Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Implementing matching estimators for average treatment effects in Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(3), pages 290-311, September.
    14. Taye Mengistae & Catherine Pattillo, 2004. "Export Orientation and Productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 51(2), pages 1-6.
    15. Schou, Soren & Cardoso, Jose, 2014. "How many manufacturing firms are there in Mozambique?," WIDER Working Paper Series 084, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    16. Roberts, Mark J & Tybout, James R, 1997. "The Decision to Export in Colombia: An Empirical Model of Entry with Sunk Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 545-564, September.
    17. Van Biesebroeck, Johannes, 2005. "Exporting raises productivity in sub-Saharan African manufacturing firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 373-391, December.
    18. Sanghamitra Das & Mark J. Roberts & James R. Tybout, 2007. "Market Entry Costs, Producer Heterogeneity, and Export Dynamics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(3), pages 837-873, May.
    19. Wood, Adrian & Mayer, Jorg, 2001. "Africa's Export Structure in a Comparative Perspective," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(3), pages 369-394, May.
    20. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Benjamin A. Olken, 2014. "The Missing "Missing Middle"," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(3), pages 89-108, Summer.
    21. Patrick Kline, 2011. "Oaxaca-Blinder as a Reweighting Estimator," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 532-537, May.
    22. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2002. "Simple and Bias-Corrected Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers 0283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    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. Ung, Luyna & Chhair, Sokty, 2014. "Exporting and foreign direct investment spillovers: Cambodia's experience," WIDER Working Paper Series 079, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. repec:afe:journl:v:19:y:2017:i:1:p:133-160 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:afe:journl:v:19:y:2017:i:1:p:113-131 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:eecrev:v:101:y:2018:i:c:p:250-267 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Newman, Carol & Rand, John & Tarp, Finn & Trifkovic, Neda, 2018. "The transmission of socially responsible behaviour through international trade," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 250-267.

    More about this item


    firm level analysis; learning spillovers; export; Mozambique;

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa


    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:oup:jafrec:v:26:y:2017:i:1:p:93-118.. 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: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum). 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.