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What Have We Learned from a Decade of Manufacturing Enterprise Surveys in Africa?

  • Arne Bigsten
  • Mans Söderbom

In the early 1990s the World Bank launched the Regional Program on Enterprise Development ( rped ) in several African countries, a key component of which was to collect data on manufacturing firms. The data sets built by these and subsequent enterprise surveys in Africa generated considerable research. This article surveys the research on the African business environment, focusing on risk, access to credit, labor, and infrastructure, and on how firms organize themselves and do business. It reviews the research on enterprise performance, including enterprise growth, investment, and exports. The article concludes with a discussion of policy lessons. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by World Bank Group in its journal The World Bank Research Observer.

Volume (Year): 21 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 241-265

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Handle: RePEc:oup:wbrobs:v:21:y:2006:i:2:p:241-265
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  1. Måns Söderbom & Francis Teal, 2002. "Size and efficiency in African manufacturing firms: Evidence from firm-level panel data," CSAE Working Paper Series 2002-07, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  2. W.A. Naudéa & R. Oostendorp & P.A.E. Serumaga-Zake, 2002. "South African Manufacturing In An African Context," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 70(8), pages 1247-1272, December.
  3. Marcel Fafchamps & Jan Willem Gunning & Remco Oostendorp, 1999. "Inventories and risk in African manufacturing," CSAE Working Paper Series 1999-19, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  4. Arne Bigsten, 1999. "Adjustment Costs, Irreversibility, and Investment Patterns in African Manufacturing," IMF Working Papers 99/99, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Fafchamps, Marcel, 2000. "Ethnicity and credit in African manufacturing," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 205-235, February.
  6. Sofronis Clerides & Saul Lach & James Tybout, 1996. "Is "learning-by-exporting" important? Micro-dynamic evidence from Colombia, Mexico and Morocco," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 96-30, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Soderbom, Mans & Teal, Francis & Harding, Alan, 2006. "The Determinants of Survival among African Manufacturing Firms," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(3), pages 533-55, April.
  8. Bernard Gauthier & Isidro Soloaga & James Tybout, 2002. "A Firm's-Eye View of Commercial Policy and Fiscal Reforms in Cameroon," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 16(3), pages 449-472, December.
  9. Paul Collier & Jan Willem Gunning, 1997. "Explaining African economic performance," CSAE Working Paper Series 1997-02.2, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  10. Bigsten, Arne, et al, 1999. " Investment in Africa's Manufacturing Sector: A Four Country Panel Data Analysis," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(4), pages 489-512, November.
  11. Velenchik, Ann D., 1997. "Government intervention, efficiency wages, and the employer size wage effect in Zimbabwe," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 305-338, August.
  12. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, August.
  13. Alan Harding & Måns Söderbom & Francis Teal, 2004. "Survival and Success among African Manufacturing Firms," CSAE Working Paper Series 2004-05, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  14. 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.
  15. Arne Bigsten & Peter Kimuyu & Karl Lundvall, 2004. "What to Do with the Informal Sector?," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 22(6), pages 701-715, November.
  16. Marcel Fafchamps & Måns Söderbom, 2004. "Wages and Labor Management in African Manufacturing," Development and Comp Systems 0409043, EconWPA.
  17. Raymond Fisman & Mayank Raturi, 2004. "Does Competition Encourage Credit Provision? Evidence from African Trade Credit Relationships," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 345-352, February.
  18. Arne Bigsten & Paul Collier & Stefan Dercon & Marcel Fafchamps & Bernard Gauthier & Jan Willem Gunning & Abena Oduro & Remco Oostendorp & Catherine Pattillo & Måns Söderbom & Francis Teal & Albert Zeu, 2002. "Do African Manufacturing Firms Learn from Exporting?," CSAE Working Paper Series 2002-09, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  19. 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 545-64, September.
  20. Francis Teal, 1995. "The size and sources of economic rents in a developing country manufacturing labour market," CSAE Working Paper Series 1995-06, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  21. Vijaya Ramachandran & Manju Kedia Shah, 1999. "Minority entrepreneurs and firm performance in sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(2), pages 71-87.
  22. Dollar, David & Hallward-Driemeier, Mary & Mengistae, Taye, 2005. "Investment Climate and Firm Performance in Developing Economies," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(1), pages 1-31, October.
  23. Benn Eifert & Alan Gelb & Vijaya Ramachandran, 2005. "Business Environment and Comparative Advantage in Africa: Evidence from the Investment Climate Data," Working Papers 56, Center for Global Development.
  24. Francis Teal & Stefan Dercon & Måns Söderbom, 1997. "Investment in Africa`s manufacturing sector: a four-country panel data analysis," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/1997-11, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  25. Fisman, Raymond, 2001. "Trade Credit and Productive Efficiency in Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 311-321, February.
  26. Arne Bigsten & Paul Collier & Stefan Dercon & Marcel Fafchamps & Bernard Gauthier & Jan Willem Gunning & Måns Söderbom & Abena Oduro & Remco Oostendorp & Cathy Pattillo & Francis Teal & Albert Zeufack, 2000. "Credit constraints in manufacturing enterprises in Africa," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-24, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  27. 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.
  28. Fisman Raymond J, 2003. "Ethnic Ties and the Provision of Credit: Relationship-Level Evidence from African Firms," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-21, October.
  29. Soderbom, Mans & Teal, Francis & Wambugu, Anthony, 2005. "Unobserved heterogeneity and the relation between earnings and firm size: evidence from two developing countries," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 153-159, May.
  30. Sleuwaegen, Leo & Goedhuys, Micheline, 2002. "Growth of firms in developing countries, evidence from Cote d'Ivoire," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 117-135, June.
  31. Catherine Pattillo, 1998. "Investment, Uncertainty, and Irreversibility in Ghana," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(3), pages 522-553, September.
  32. Van Biesebroeck, Johannes, 2005. "Firm Size Matters: Growth and Productivity Growth in African Manufacturing," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(3), pages 545-83, April.
  33. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  34. Geeta Batra & Daniel Kaufmann & Andrew H. W. Stone, 2003. "Investment Climate Around the World : Voices of the Firms from the World Business Environment Survey," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15143.
  35. Abigail M. Barr, 2002. "The Functional Diversity and Spillover Effects of Social Capital," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 11(1), pages 90-113, March.
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