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The Dynamics of Job Creation and Job Destruction: Is Sub-Saharan Africa Different?

  • Shiferaw, Admasu

    ()

    (The College of William and Mary)

  • Bedi, Arjun S.

    ()

    (ISS, Erasmus University Rotterdam)

This paper analyzes the creation, destruction and reallocation of jobs in order to understand the micro-dynamics of aggregate employment change in African manufacturing. The nature and magnitude of gross job flows are examined using a unique panel data of Ethiopian manufacturing establishments over the period 1996-2007. We also assess the relative importance of firm demographics, industry effects and business cycles for job flows. The rates and patterns of job creation and destruction in our sample are comparable to the findings from developed and emerging economies suggesting that African firms adjust their labor force in a manner broadly similar to firms elsewhere and that African labor markets are not uniquely restrictive in terms of undermining job reallocation across firms. We also find, as in many other countries, that job reallocation is relatively higher in industries dominated by smaller and younger establishments. However, unlike other regions, job reallocation in our sample is pro-cyclical and its variation across industries bears little similarity to the patterns found in other developed and emerging economies. Small firms in Africa create jobs mainly at the point of market-entry and play a limited role in terms of contributing to manufacturing employment through post-entry expansion.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4623.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'The Dynamics of Job Creation and Job Destruction in an African Economy: Evidence from Ethiopia' in: Journal of African Economies, 2013, 22(5), 651-692
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4623
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  1. Bigsten, Arne, et al, 1999. " Investment in Africa's Manufacturing Sector: A Four Country Panel Data Analysis," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(4), pages 489-512, November.
  2. Jeffrey R. Campbell & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1996. "Aggregate employment fluctuations with microeconomic asymmetries," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 112, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Bigsten Arne & Collier Paul & Dercon Stefan & Fafchamps Marcel & Gauthier Bernard & Gunning Jan Willem & Oostendorp Remco & Pattillo Catherine & Söderbom Måns & Teal Francis, 2005. "Adjustment Costs and Irreversibility as Determinants of Investment: Evidence from African Manufacturing," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-29, October.
  4. Davis, Steven J & Haltiwanger, John C, 1992. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction, and Employment Reallocation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 819-63, August.
  5. James Tybout, 1999. "Manufacturing Firms in Developing Countries: How Well Do They Do, and Why?," Development and Comp Systems 9906001, EconWPA, revised 10 Jun 1999.
  6. Admasu Shiferaw, 2007. "Firm Heterogeneity and Market Selection in Sub-Saharan Africa: Does It Spur Industrial Progress?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55, pages 393-423.
  7. Haltiwanger, John C. & Scarpetta, Stefano & Schweiger, Helena, 2006. "Assessing Job Flows across Countries: The Role of Industry, Firm Size and Regulations," IZA Discussion Papers 2450, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Frazer, Garth, 2005. "Which Firms Die? A Look at Manufacturing Firm Exit in Ghana," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(3), pages 585-617, April.
  9. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1990. "Gross Job Creation and Destruction: Microeconomic Evidence and Macroeconomic Implications," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1990, Volume 5, pages 123-186 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Van Biesebroeck, Johannes, 2005. "Firm Size Matters: Growth and Productivity Growth in African Manufacturing," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(3), pages 545-83, April.
  11. Evans, David S, 1987. "The Relationship between Firm Growth, Size, and Age: Estimates for 100 Manufacturing Industries," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 567-81, June.
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  13. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, June.
  14. Timothy Dunne & John Haltiwanger & John Baldwin, 1994. "A Comparison of Job Creation and Job Destruction in Canada and the United States," Working Papers 94-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  15. Faggio, Giulia & Konings, Jozef, 2003. "Job creation, job destruction and employment growth in transition countries in the 90s," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 129-154, June.
  16. Pakes, A. & Ericson, R., 1990. "Empirical Implications Of Alternative Models Of Firm Dynamics," Papers 594, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  17. Francis Teal & Stefan Dercon & Måns Söderbom, 1997. "Investment in Africa`s manufacturing sector: a four-country panel data analysis," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/1997-11, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  18. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  19. Arne Bigsten & Mulu Gebreeyesus, 2007. "The Small, the Young, and the Productive: Determinants of Manufacturing Firm Growth in Ethiopia," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55, pages 813-840.
  20. S.A. Lippman & R.P. Rumelt, 1982. "Uncertain Imitability: An Analysis of Interfirm Differences in Efficiency under Competition," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 418-438, Autumn.
  21. Shiferaw, Admasu, 2009. "Survival of Private Sector Manufacturing Establishments in Africa: The Role of Productivity and Ownership," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 572-584, March.
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