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

  • Patricia Jones

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

  • Abigail Barr

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

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.

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of International Development.

Volume (Year): 8 (1996)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 445-466

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Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:8:y:1996:i:3:p:445-466
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/5102/home

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  1. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  2. Levhari, David & Sheshinski, Eytan, 1973. "Experience and Productivity in the Israel Diamond Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(2), pages 239-53, March.
  3. 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.
  4. Nelson, C. & Startz, R., 1988. "The Distribution Of The Instrumental Variables Estimator And Its T-Ratio When The Instrument Is A Poor One," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 88-07, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  5. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2232, David K. Levine.
  6. Ron Jarmin, 1993. "Learning By Doing And Competition In The Early Rayon Industry," Working Papers 93-4, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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