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Exports and firm-level efficiency in African manufacturing

Author

Listed:
  • Arne Bigsten
  • Paul Collier
  • Stefan Dercon
  • Marcel Fafchamps
  • Bernard Gauthier
  • Jan Willem Gunning
  • Jean Habarurema
  • Abena Oduro
  • Remco Oostendorp
  • Catherine Pattillo
  • Måns Söderbom
  • Francis Teal
  • Albert Zeufack

Abstract

In this paper, we use firm-level panel data for the manufacturing sector in four African countries to estimate the effect of exporting on efficiency. Measures of firm-level efficiency using stochastic production frontier models are constructed for the period 1992 to 1995. We find that there are large efficiency gains from exporting both in terms of levels and growth, and contrary to China, the gains are largest for the new entrants to exporting. We control for unobserved heterogeneity using a dynamic model with correlated random effects. Results are robust and consistently, we find evidence of a learning-by-exporting effect as well as self-selection of the most efficient firms into exporting. The effect of exporting on efficiency appears to be larger in this African sample than in comparable studies of other regions which is consistent with the smaller size of domestic markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Arne Bigsten & Paul Collier & Stefan Dercon & Marcel Fafchamps & Bernard Gauthier & Jan Willem Gunning & Jean Habarurema & Abena Oduro & Remco Oostendorp & Catherine Pattillo & Måns Söderbom & Francis, 2000. "Exports and firm-level efficiency in African manufacturing," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-16, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2000-16
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mark J. Roberts & James R. Tybout, 1991. "Size Rationalization and Trade Exposure in Developing Countries," NBER Chapters, in: Empirical Studies of Commercial Policy, pages 169-200, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Nishimizu, Mieko & Page, John M, Jr, 1982. "Total Factor Productivity Growth, Technological Progress and Technical Efficiency Change: Dimensions of Productivity Change in Yugoslavia, 1965-78," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(368), pages 920-936, December.
    3. Richard E. Caves, 1992. "Industrial Efficiency in Six Nations," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262031930, December.
    4. 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.
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    Keywords

    2000;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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