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Exports and firm-level efficiency in African manufacturing

  • 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

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

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Paper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 2000-16.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2000-16
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  1. David M. Blau & Donna B. Gilleskie, 1997. "Retiree Health Insurance and the Labor Force Behavior of Older Men in the 1990s," NBER Working Papers 5948, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
  3. Richard E. Caves, 1992. "Industrial Efficiency in Six Nations," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262031930, June.
  4. Sachs, Jeffrey D & Warner, Andrew M, 1997. "Sources of Slow Growth in African Economies," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 6(3), pages 335-76, October.
  5. Cornwell, Christopher & Schmidt, Peter & Sickles, Robin C., 1990. "Production frontiers with cross-sectional and time-series variation in efficiency levels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 185-200.
  6. Sofronis Clerides & Saul Lach & James Tybout, 1996. "Is "Learning-by-Exporting" Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico and Morocco," NBER Working Papers 5715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Ghani, Ejaz & Jayarajah, Carl, 1995. "Trade reform, efficiency, and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1438, The World Bank.
  8. 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.
  9. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
  10. Jondrow, James & Knox Lovell, C. A. & Materov, Ivan S. & Schmidt, Peter, 1982. "On the estimation of technical inefficiency in the stochastic frontier production function model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 233-238, August.
  11. Jan Willem Gunning & Paul Collier, 1999. "Explaining African Economic Performance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 64-111, March.
  12. Nishimizu, Mieko & Robinson, Sherman, 1984. "Trade policies and productivity change in semi-industrialized countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1-2), pages 177-206.
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