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Exports of African manufactures: macro policy and firm behaviour

  • 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

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.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development.

Volume (Year): 8 (1999)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 53-71

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jitecd:v:8:y:1999:i:1:p:53-71
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