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Skills, Investment and Exports from Manufacturing Firms in Africa

Author

Listed:
  • M. Soderbaum
  • F. Teal

Abstract

It has been argued that Africa will not be able to export manufactures as it lacks the necessary skills. This study uses panel data from Ghana to ask how skills have impacted on manufacturing investment and exports in the 1990s. Two dimensions of skills are defined and measure. The first is that observable in the education and experience of the workforce. The second is the underlying efficiency with which the firm operates. The latter is shown to be a significant determinant of both investment and exports. These exports are relatively capital intensive; unskilled labour-intensive exports remain negligible. Possible reasons for these outcomes are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • M. Soderbaum & F. Teal, 2000. "Skills, Investment and Exports from Manufacturing Firms in Africa," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(2), pages 13-43.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:37:y:2000:i:2:p:13-43 DOI: 10.1080/713600067
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Arndt, Channing & Jensen, Henning Tarp & Tarp, Finn, 2000. "Structural Characteristics of the Economy of Mozambique: A SAM-Based Analysis," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, pages 292-306.
    2. Robinson, Sherman & El-Said, Moataz & San, Nu Nu, 1998. "Rice policy, trade, and exchange rate changes in Indonesia: A general equilibrium analysis," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, pages 393-423.
    3. Channing Arndt & Henning Tarp Jensen & Finn Tarp, 2000. "Stabilization and structural adjustment in Mozambique: an appraisal," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., pages 299-323.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Frazer, Garth, 2005. "Which Firms Die? A Look at Manufacturing Firm Exit in Ghana," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(3), pages 585-617, April.
    2. repec:afe:journl:v:19:y:2017:i:1:p:133-160 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Tarasov, Alexander & Felbermayr, Gabriel, 2014. "Trade and the Spatial Distribution of Transport Infrastructure," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100511, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. KAFANDO, Namalguebzanga, 2014. "L'industrialisation de l'Afrique: l'importance des facteurs structurels et du régime de change
      [The industrialization of Africa: the importance of structural factors and exchange rate regime]
      ," MPRA Paper 68736, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. repec:afe:journl:v:19:y:2017:i:1:p:113-131 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Edwards, Lawrence & Balchin, Neil, 2008. "Trade related business climate and manufacturing export performance in Africa: A firm-level analysis," MPRA Paper 32863, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Bigsten, Arne & Gebreeyesus, Mulu, 2008. "Firm Productivity and Exports: Evidence from Ethiopian manufacturing," Working Papers in Economics 303, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    8. 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, pages 115-141.
    9. Pratap, Sangeeta & Quintin, Erwan, 2006. "The Informal Sector in Developing Countries: Output, Assets and Employment," WIDER Working Paper Series 130, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    10. Chowdhury, Shyamal K. & Wolf, Susanne, 2003. "Use of ICTs and the Economic Performance of SMEs in East Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series 006, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    11. Adeoti, John Olatunji, 2012. "Technology-related factors as determinants of export potential of Nigerian manufacturing firms," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 487-503.
    12. Marcel Fafchamps, 2009. "Human Capital, Exports, and Earnings," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(1), pages 111-141, October.
    13. Marcel Fafchamps, 2007. "Human Capital, Exports, and Wages," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-069, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    14. Janine Aron & John Muellbauer, 2004. "Revised estimates of personal sector wealth for South Africa," CSAE Working Paper Series 2004-24, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    15. Waldkirch, Andreas & Ofosu, Andra, 2010. "Foreign Presence, Spillovers, and Productivity: Evidence from Ghana," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 1114-1126, August.
    16. 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, pages 115-141.
    17. Admasu Shiferaw & Degol Hailu, 2016. "Job creation and trade in manufactures: industry-level analysis across countries," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), pages 1-36.
    18. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Investments; Exports; Manufacturing Firms; Skills; Africa; Ghana;

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity

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