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South African exporting firms: What do we know and what should we know?

  • Edwards, Lawrence
  • Rankin, Neil A.
  • Schöer, Volker

Policies to stimulate export growth and diversify the composition of exports in South Africa are now high on the government’s agenda. In order to understand exporting and its impact on job creation, one needs to understand how firms function, what determines, or constrains, exporting at the firm level and the links between export behaviour and labour demand. An understanding of these relationships, particularly over time, is also essential for the implementation and evaluation of export related policies. This paper reviews the evidence on South African exporting firms, highlighting what we know, and what we do not know. A key conclusion is that our understanding of firm level export behaviour is severely constrained by the lack of adequate firm data, particularly panel data.

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File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/16906/1/MPRA_paper_16906.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 16906.

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Date of creation: Oct 2008
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Development Perspectives 4.1(2008): pp. 67-92
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:16906
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  1. Vivek B. Arora & Ashok Bhundia, 2003. "Potential Output and total Factor Productivity Growth in Post-Apartheid South Africa," IMF Working Papers 03/178, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 13054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Marcel Fafchamps & Said El Hamine & Albert Zeufack, 2004. "Learning to Export: evidence from Moroccan manufacturing," International Trade 0409004, EconWPA.
  4. De Loecker, Jan, 2007. "Do exports generate higher productivity? Evidence from Slovenia," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 69-98, September.
  5. Bernard, A. & Wagner, J., 1996. "Exports and Success in German Manufacturing," Working papers 96-10, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Arvind Subramanian & Gunnar Jonsson, 2000. "Dynamic Gains From Trade; Evidence From South Africa," IMF Working Papers 00/45, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Stephen S. Golub & Janet Ceglowski, 2002. "South African Real Exchange Rates And Manufacturing Competitiveness," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 70(6), pages 1047-1075, 09.
  8. Baldwin, Richard, 1988. "Hyteresis in Import Prices: The Beachhead Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 773-85, September.
  9. Francis Teal & Måns Söderbom & Neil Rankin, 2005. "Exporting from manufacturing firms in Sub-Saharan Africa," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-036, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  10. Richard Baldwin & Paul Krugman, 1989. "Persistent Trade Effects of Large Exchange Rate Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(4), pages 635-654.
  11. Lawrence Edwards & Phil Alves, 2006. "South Africa'S Export Performance: Determinants Of Export Supply," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 74(3), pages 473-500, 09.
  12. Lawrence Edwards, 2005. "Has South Africa Liberalised Its Trade?," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 73(4), pages 754-775, December.
  13. Collier, Paul & Venables, Anthony J, 2007. "Rethinking Trade Preferences: How Africa Can Diversify its Exports," CEPR Discussion Papers 6262, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Edwards, Lawrence & Golub, Stephen S., 2004. "South Africa's International Cost Competitiveness and Exports in Manufacturing," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1323-1339, August.
  15. Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2003. "Exporting Raises Productivity in Sub-Saharan African Manufacturing Plants," NBER Working Papers 10020, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Rhys Jenkins, 2008. "Trade, Technology and Employment in South Africa," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(1), pages 60-79.
  17. Goldstein, Morris & Khan, Mohsin S., 1985. "Income and price effects in foreign trade," Handbook of International Economics, in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 20, pages 1041-1105 Elsevier.
  18. Rankin, Neil A., 2001. "The export behaviour of South African manufacturing firms," MPRA Paper 16904, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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