Does freer trade really lead to productivity growth? Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa
Manufacturing is intensive in the use of reproducible factors and exhibits greater technological dynamism than primary production. As such its growth is central to long-run development in low-income countries. Sub-Saharan African countries are latecomers to industrialization, and barriers to manufacturing growth, including those that limit trade, have been slow to come down. What factors contribute most to increases in output and productivity growth in their manufacturing sectors? Recent trade-IO theory suggests that trade liberalization should raise average total factor productivity (TFP) among manufacturing firms (Melitz 2003), but these predictions are conditional on maintained assumptions about the nature of industries, factor markets and trade patterns that may be less suitable in a developing-country setting. Manufacturing industries and firms are heterogeneous, so this analysis demands disaggregated data. We use firm-level data from the World Bank’s Regional Program on Enterprise Development (RPED) covering Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania, 1991-2003. Among other things, the data distinguish exports by destination (Africa and the rest of the world), which is important due to the spread of intra-Africa regional trade agreements (RTAs). Econometric results confirm well-known relationships, for example a positive association between export intensity and TFP. However, we also find the destination of exports to be important. Export firms are more productive but have experienced declining TFP growth, and this has occurred at different rates depending on the country and the export market addressed. We show that these differentials are consistent with predictions from a modified statement of the Melitz model. The TFP results add a new dimension to controversies over the development implications of trade liberalization and the promotion of intra-Africa RTAs.
|Date of creation:||2012|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 555 East Wells Street, Suite 1100, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202|
Phone: (414) 918-3190
Fax: (414) 276-3349
Web page: http://www.aaea.org
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Måns S–derbom & Francis Teal, 2003. "Are Manufacturing Exports the Key to Economic Success in Africa?," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 12(1), pages 1-29, March.
- Harrison, Ann E., 1994. "Productivity, imperfect competition and trade reform : Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-2), pages 53-73, February.
- Arne Bigsten & Paul Collier & Stefan Dercon & Marcel Fafchamps & Bernard Gauthier & Jan Willem Gunning & Abena Oduro & Remco Oostendorp & Catherine Pattillo & Måns Söderbom & Francis Teal & Albert Zeu, 2002.
"Do African Manufacturing Firms Learn from Exporting?,"
CSAE Working Paper Series
2002-09, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
- 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.
- Arne Bigsten & Paul Collier & Stefan Dercon & Marcel Fachamps & Bernard Gauthier & Jan Willem Gunning & Abena Oduro & Remco Oostendorp & Catherine Pattillo & Mans Soderbom & Francis Teal & Albert Zeuf, 2004. "Do African manufacturing firms learn from exporting?," Development and Comp Systems 0409071, EconWPA.
- Andrew.B Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007.
"Firms in international trade,"
LSE Research Online Documents on Economics
3682, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Andrew Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen Redding & Peter Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," Working Papers 07-14, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
- Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 13054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," CEP Discussion Papers dp0795, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Bernard, Andrew B. & Jensen, J Bradford & Redding, Stephen J. & Schott, Peter K., 2007. "Firms in International Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 6277, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- George S Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992.
"The Dynamics Of Productivity In The Telecommunications Equipment Industry,"
92-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
- Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-1297, November.
- G. Steven Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," NBER Working Papers 3977, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Catherine A Pattillo & Taye Mengistae, 2002.
"Export Orientation and Productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa,"
IMF Working Papers
02/89, International Monetary Fund.
- Taye Mengistae & Catherine Pattillo, 2004. "Export Orientation and Productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 51(2), pages 1-6.
- James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341.
- J Bradford Jensen & Andrew B Bernard, 2001.
"Why Some Firms Export,"
01-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
- 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.
- Aw, B. -Y. & Hwang, A. R., 1995. "Productivity and the export market: A firm-level analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 313-332, August.
- Krugman, Paul, 1987. "The narrow moving band, the Dutch disease, and the competitive consequences of Mrs. Thatcher : Notes on trade in the presence of dynamic scale economies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1-2), pages 41-55, October.
- Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2003.
"Exporting Raises Productivity in Sub-Saharan African Manufacturing Plants,"
NBER Working Papers
10020, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Van Biesebroeck, Johannes, 2005. "Exporting raises productivity in sub-Saharan African manufacturing firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 373-391, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:aaea12:124958. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.