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Zambian manufacturing performance in comparative perspective

  • Szirmai, Adam
  • Yamfwa, Francis
  • Lwamba, Chibwe

    (Groningen University)

This paper presents an analysis of Zambian manufacturing performance since 1964. It presents new estimates of labour productivity growth and total factor productivity growth. After a period of growth and labour productivity improvement till 1974, Zambian manufacturing suffered from increasing inefficiencies in an import substituting and interventionist environment. Growth of output slowed down, labour productivity and investment declined, though TFP showed some fluctuation. In the period of liberalisation between 1991-95, output shrank dramatically, TFP collapsed and labour productivity continued to decline. After 1995 indicators of performance point to a modest recovery. Following an industry-of-origin approach to international comparisons, the Zambian estimates are placed in comparative perspective in a binary comparison with the USA. In 1990, labour productivity in Zambia stood at 5.9 percent of the US level, while relative total factor productivity stood at 16.7 percent. Over time comparative labour productivity has been declining, indicating an increasing technology gap relative to the world frontier. By 1998, comparative labour productivity stood at 3.2 percent of the US level.

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File URL: http://irs.ub.rug.nl/ppn/242676588
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Paper provided by Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen in its series GGDC Research Memorandum with number 200253.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:rugggd:200253
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  1. Paul Collier & Jan Willem Gunning, 1997. "Explaining African economic performance," CSAE Working Paper Series 1997-02.2, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  2. Paul Collier & Jan Willem Gunning, 1999. "Why Has Africa Grown Slowly?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
  3. Marcel Timmer & Adam Szirmai, 1999. "Comparative productivity performance in manufacturing in South and East Asia, 1960-93," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(1), pages 57-79.
  4. Szirmai, Adam & Pilat, Dirk, 1990. "Comparisons of Purchasing Power, Real Output and Labour Productivity in Manufacturing in Japan, South Korea and the U.S.A., 1975-85," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 36(1), pages 1-31, March.
  5. Benno J. Ndulu & Stephen A. O'Connell, 1999. "Governance and Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 41-66, Summer.
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