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Exports of African manufactures: macro policy and firm behaviour

Author

Listed:
  • Arne Bigsten
  • Paul Collier
  • Stefan Dercon
  • Marcel Fafcharnps
  • Bernard Gauthier
  • Jan Willern Gunning
  • Jean Habarurema
  • Anders Isaksson
  • Abena Oduro
  • Remco Oostendorp
  • Cathy Pattillo
  • Mans Soderborn
  • Francis Teal
  • Albert Zeufack

Abstract

Macro policy has changed the real exchange rates for African countries dramatically in the 1990s. In this paper the possible impact of macroeconomic policy on firms in the manufacturing sector is considered based on a panel survey of such firms in Cameroon. Kenya, Ghana and Zimbabwe. The data show that most large African manufacturing firms do export, but most do not specialize in exporting. An export equation is estimated both for the propensity of the firms to export and the percentage of output exported. It is shown that a stable export function can be estimated for all four countries over the three rounds of the survey. While there is no evidence that real devaluations have effected a general rise in manufactured exports there is evidence from the surveys of a rise in the percentage of output exported from the Cameroon. Reasons for the lack of a general response to macro policy are suggested. In the Cameroon, large firms did increase their propensity to export. Understanding the links between macro policy and firm performance may require an understanding of how such policies impact on different types of firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Arne Bigsten & Paul Collier & Stefan Dercon & Marcel Fafcharnps & Bernard Gauthier & Jan Willern Gunning & Jean Habarurema & Anders Isaksson & Abena Oduro & Remco Oostendorp & Cathy Pattillo & Mans So, 1999. "Exports of African manufactures: macro policy and firm behaviour," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1), pages 53-71.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jitecd:v:8:y:1999:i:1:p:53-71 DOI: 10.1080/09638199900000005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. O. Galor & H. M. Polemarchakis, 1987. "Intertemporal Equilibrium and the Transfer Paradox," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, pages 147-156.
    2. Chichilnisky, Graciela, 1980. "Basic goods, the effects of commodity transfers and the international economic order," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 505-519.
    3. Haaparanta, Pertti, 1989. "The intertemporal effects of international transfers," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 371-382.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Elbadawi, Ibrahim & Mengistae, Taye & Zeufack, Albert, 2006. "Market access, supplier access, and Africa's manufactured exports : an analysis of the role of geography and institutions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3942, The World Bank.
    2. 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.
    3. Harrison, Ann E. & Lin, Justin Yifu & Xu, Lixin Colin, 2014. "Explaining Africa’s (Dis)advantage," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 59-77.
    4. Alan Harding & Måns Söderbom & Francis Teal, 2004. "Survival and Success among African Manufacturing Firms," Development and Comp Systems 0409046, EconWPA.
    5. Janvier D. Nkurunziza, 2005. "The Effect of Credit on Growth and Convergence of Firms in Kenyan Manufacturing," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2005-01, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    6. Bresnahan, Lauren & Coxhead, Ian & Foltz, Jeremy & Mogues, Tewodaj, 2016. "Does Freer Trade Really Lead to Productivity Growth? Evidence from Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 18-29.
    7. te Velde, Dirk Willem & Morrissey, Oliver, 2003. "Spatial Inequality for Manufacturing Wages in Five African Countries," WIDER Working Paper Series 066, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    8. Janvier D. Nkurunziza, 2005. "Credit Can Precipitate Firm Failure: Evidence from Kenyan Manufacturing in the 1990s," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2005-04, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    9. Coxhead, Ian A. & Foltz, Jeremy D. & Mogues, Tewodaj, 2012. "Does freer trade really lead to productivity growth? Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124958, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    10. Rankin, Neil A., 2001. "The export behaviour of South African manufacturing firms," MPRA Paper 16904, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Christine Phillips & Seema Bhatia-Panthaki, 2007. "Enterprise development in Zambia: reflections on the missing middle," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 793-804.
    12. Louise Grenier & Andrew McKay & Oliver Morrissey, "undated". "Determinants of Exports and Investment of Manufacturing Firms in Tanzania," Discussion Papers 98/5, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.
    13. Krüger, Jens, 2009. "How do firms organize trade?: Evidence from Ghana," Kiel Advanced Studies Working Papers 449, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).

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