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Export Orientation and Productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Catherine A. Pattillo
  • Taye Mengistae

Analysis of firm-level panel data from three sub-Saharan African economies shows that exporting manufacturers have a total factor productivity premium of 11-28 percent. The data do not allow testing of whether these premiums are caused by selection of more efficient producers into exporting or by learning-by-exporting. By thinking about the mechanisms behind selectivity and learning, however, our finding of higher premiums for direct exporters and exporters to outside Africa could be interpreted as being consistent with learning-by-exporting effects. However, if learning-by-exporting is indeed present in the data, we cannot disentangle its effect on productivity from those of more traditionally recognized channels of international technology diffusion.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 02/89.

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Length: 30
Date of creation: 01 May 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:02/89
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