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The Determinants of Survival among African Manufacturing Firms

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  • Soderbom, Mans
  • Teal, Francis
  • Harding, Alan

Abstract

Recent reforms in many African economies of their trading and exchange rate regimes have eliminated much of the protection that previously limited competition. Despite these reforms, African manufacturing firms remain unsuccessful, particularly in international export markets. In this article we focus on the role of total factor productivity (TFP) in determining whether or not firms can survive in the subsequent period. We use a pooled panel data set of firms in Ghana, Kenya, and Tanzania that spans a period of 5 years. We find that productivity influences subsequent firm survival among large, but not small, firms. We investigate whether this result can be explained by differences in risk or the persistence of TFP. We find no evidence that this is the case. The result may be driven by covariance between the unobserved outside option and the value in remaining in existence that makes optimal exiting for small firms largely independent of productivity in the previous period.

Suggested Citation

  • 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 533-555, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:y:2006:v:54:i:3:p:533-55
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/500030
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Riadh Ben Jelili, "undated". "Firm Heterogeneity and Productivity: The Contribution of Microdata," API-Working Paper Series 1013, Arab Planning Institute - Kuwait, Information Center.
    2. Abigail Barr & Pieter Serneels, 2009. "Reciprocity in the workplace," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 12(1), pages 99-112, March.
    3. Mary Hallward-Driemeier & Bob Rijkers, 2013. "Do Crises Catalyze Creative Destruction? Firm-level Evidence from Indonesia," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(5), pages 1788-1810, December.
    4. Serneels, Pieter, 2008. "Human capital revisited: The role of experience and education when controlling for performance and cognitive skills," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 1143-1161, December.
    5. Klapper, Leora & Richmond, Christine, 2011. "Patterns of business creation, survival and growth: Evidence from Africa," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(S1), pages 32-44.
    6. Pierre Blanchard & Jean-Pierre Huiban & Claude Mathieu, 2012. "The determinants of firm exit in the French food industries," Review of Agricultural and Environmental Studies - Revue d'Etudes en Agriculture et Environnement, INRA Department of Economics, vol. 93(2), pages 193-212.
    7. Shiferaw, Admasu & Bedi, Arjun S., 2009. "The Dynamics of Job Creation and Job Destruction: Is Sub-Saharan Africa Different?," IZA Discussion Papers 4623, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Arne Bigsten & Mans Söderbom, 2006. "What Have We Learned from a Decade of Manufacturing Enterprise Surveys in Africa?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 21(2), pages 241-265.
    9. Marchetta, Francesca, 2012. "Return Migration and the Survival of Entrepreneurial Activities in Egypt," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(10), pages 1999-2013.
    10. Waldkirch, Andreas & Ofosu, Andra, 2010. "Foreign Presence, Spillovers, and Productivity: Evidence from Ghana," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 1114-1126, August.
    11. repec:eee:wdevel:v:99:y:2017:i:c:p:141-159 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Henrik Hansen & John Rand & Finn Tarp, 2009. "Enterprise Growth and Survival in Vietnam: Does Government Support Matter?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(7), pages 1048-1069, August.
    13. Erol Taymaz & Şule Özler, 2007. "Foreign Ownership, Competition, and Survival Dynamics," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 31(1), pages 23-42, August.
    14. Pierrick Baraton & Florian Léon, 2016. "Financial Constraint, Entrepreneurship and Sectoral Migrations ," CREA Discussion Paper Series 16-09, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
    15. Shiferaw, Admasu, 2009. "Survival of Private Sector Manufacturing Establishments in Africa: The Role of Productivity and Ownership," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 572-584, March.
    16. Blanchard, Pierre & Huiban, Jean-Pierre & Mathieu, Claude, 2011. "Productivity, sunk costs and firm exit in the French food industry," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114526, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    17. Rooks, Gerrit & Szirmai, Adam & Sserwanga, Arthur, 2009. "The Interplay of Human and Social Capital in Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries: The Case of Keywords: social capital, human capital, entrepreneurship, developing countries," WIDER Working Paper Series 009, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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