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Exports and Firm - level Efficiency in African Manufacturing

  • Paul Collier
  • Marcel Fafchamps
  • Francis Teal
  • Stefan Dercon

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 University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number WPS/2000-16.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2000
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:wps/2000-16
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  1. 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.
  2. Sofronis K. Clerides & Saul Lach & James R. Tybout, 1998. "Is Learning By Exporting Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence From Colombia, Mexico, And Morocco," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 903-947, August.
  3. 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.
  4. Cornwell, Christopher & Schmidt, Peter & Sickles, Robin C., 1989. "Production Frontiers With Cross-Sectinal And Time-Series Variation In Efficiency Levels," Working Papers 89-18, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  5. Ghani, Ejaz & Jayarajah, Carl, 1995. "Trade reform, efficiency, and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1438, The World Bank.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Richard E. Caves, 1992. "Industrial Efficiency in Six Nations," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262031930, June.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  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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