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Why can Mauritius export manufactures and Ghana not?

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  • Francis Teal

Abstract

Exports of labour-intensive manufactures from sub-Saharan Africa are negligible with the exception of Mauritius. Such exports from Ghana are low relative to other sub-Saharan African countries and relative to what would be predicted by its factor endowment. Firm level data from the two countries is used to assess the reasons for this poor performance. Large firms (those with more than 100 employees) are much more likely to be in the export market than smaller firms. It is shown that Mauritian firms are four times more efficient than those in Ghana while wages are six times higher. However for large firms the productivity differential is similar but wages in Mauritius are only three times those in Ghana. Large firms in Ghana cannot compete with those from Mauritius due to their high wages relative to productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Francis Teal, 1999. "Why can Mauritius export manufactures and Ghana not?," CSAE Working Paper Series 1999-10, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:1999-10
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    File URL: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/9910text.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bohn, Henning & Inman, Robert P., 1996. "Balanced-budget rules and public deficits: evidence from the U.S. states," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, pages 13-76.
    2. Hallerberg, Mark & von Hagen, Jürgen, 1997. "Electoral Institutions, Cabinet Negotiations, and Budget Deficits within the European Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 1555, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Bohn, Henning & Inman, Robert P., 1996. "Balanced-budget rules and public deficits: evidence from the U.S. states," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, pages 13-76.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gilroy, Bernard Michael & Gries, Thomas & Naudé, Willem & Schmidt, Karl-Heinz & Bauer, Norbert, 2001. "Multinational Enterprises in Africa - A Study of German Firms in South Africa," MPRA Paper 17868, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Gareth Austin & Ewout Frankema & Ewout Morten Jerven, 2015. "Patterns of Manufacturing Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa: From Colonization to the Present," Working Papers 0071, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
    3. Matthew McCartney, 2014. "The Political Economy of Industrial Policy: A Comparative Study of the Textiles Industry in Pakistan," Lahore Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, The Lahore School of Economics, pages 105-134.
    4. Francis Teal, 2000. "Private Sector Wages and Poverty in Ghana: 1988-1998," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2000-06, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    5. Eifert, Benn & Gelb, Alan & Ramachandran, Vijaya, 2008. "The Cost of Doing Business in Africa: Evidence from Enterprise Survey Data," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 1531-1546, September.
    6. Floribert Ngaruko, 2003. "Agricultural Export Performance in Africa: Elements of comparison with Asia," Working Papers 03-09, Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA).
    7. Maswana, Jean-Claude, 2006. "Economic Development Patterns and Outcomes in Africa and Asia," MPRA Paper 5551, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Shashidhara Kolavalli & Elizabeth Robinson & Guyslain Ngeleza & Felix Asante, 2012. "Economic Transformation in Ghana: Where Will the Path Lead?," Journal of African Development, African Finance and Economic Association, pages 41-78.
    9. Francis Teal & Måns Söderbom & Francis Teal, 2000. "Skills, investment and exports from manufacturing firms in Africa," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2000-08, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    10. W. A. Naudé, 2004. "The effects of policy, institutions and geography on economic growth in Africa: an econometric study based on cross-section and panel data," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., pages 821-849.
    11. Shashidhara Kolavalli & Elizabeth Robinson & Guyslain Ngeleza & Felix Asante, 2012. "Economic Transformation in Ghana: Where Will the Path Lead?," Journal of African Development, African Finance and Economic Association, pages 41-78.
    12. Glass, Anthony J. & Kenjegalieva, Karligash & Ajayi, Victor & Adetutu, Morakinyo & Sickles, Robin C., 2016. "Relative Winners and Losers from Efficiency Spillovers in Africa with Policy Implications for Regional Integration," Working Papers 16-003, Rice University, Department of Economics.
    13. Krüger, Jens, 2009. "How do firms organize trade?: Evidence from Ghana," Kiel Advanced Studies Working Papers 449, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).

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