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Learning by doing in sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Ghana

Author

Listed:
  • Patricia Jones

    (Institute of Economics and Statistics, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK)

  • Abigail Barr

    (Institute of Economics and Statistics, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK)

Abstract

There has been interest in the implications of learning by doing, and in particular in the possibility that learning by doing may be slower in less developed countries and in industries which use simpler technologies. This paper uses firm-level data from Ghana to estimate learning-by-doing effects and generates three main findings. First, the learning curve, though present, is flatter in Ghana than in developed countries. Second, any industry-wide spillovers are small and insignificant. Third, (contrary to the assumption of much theory) learning-by-doing effects are stronger at low levels of technology than at intermediate levels.

Suggested Citation

  • Patricia Jones & Abigail Barr, 1996. "Learning by doing in sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Ghana," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(3), pages 445-466.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:8:y:1996:i:3:p:445-466 DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1099-1328(199605)8:3<445::AID-JID384>3.0.CO;2-D
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-1037, October.
    2. Levhari, David & Sheshinski, Eytan, 1973. "Experience and Productivity in the Israel Diamond Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(2), pages 239-253, March.
    3. Nelson, Charles R & Startz, Richard, 1990. "The Distribution of the Instrumental Variables Estimator and Its t-Ratio When the Instrument Is a Poor One," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63(1), pages 125-140, January.
    4. Caballero, Ricardo J. & Lyons, Richard K., 1990. "Internal versus external economies in European industry," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 805-826, June.
    5. Ronald S. Jarmin, 1994. "Learning by Doing and Competition in the Early Rayon Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, pages 441-454.
    6. Ronald S. Jarmin, 1994. "Learning by Doing and Competition in the Early Rayon Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, pages 441-454.
    7. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Jones, Patricia, 2001. "Are educated workers really more productive?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 57-79.
    3. Mario Biggeri & Danilo Gambelli & Christine Phillips, 1999. "Small and medium enterprise theory: evidence for Chinese TVEs," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(2), pages 197-219.

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