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What have we learned from a decade of manufacturing enterprise surveys in Africa ?

  • Bigsten, Arne
  • Soderbom, Mans

In the early 1990s the World Bank launched the Regional Program on Enterprise Development in several African countries, a key component of which was the collection of manufacturing firm-level data. In this paper the authors review the research based on the data sets generated by these and subsequent firm surveys in Africa, with a special view to what they think are the most important policy implications. The authors survey the research on the African business environment, focusing on market size, risk, access to credit, labor, and infrastructure. They cover the research on how firms choose to organize themselves and how firms do business. They review the research on firm performance, including firm growth, investment and technology acquisition, and exports. They conclude with an extended discussion of the policy lessons.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3798.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 2005
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3798
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  1. Fisman Raymond J, 2003. "Ethnic Ties and the Provision of Credit: Relationship-Level Evidence from African Firms," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-21, October.
  2. Arne Bigsten & Paul Collier & Stefan Dercon & Marcel Fafchamps & Bernard Gauthier & Jan Willem Gunning & Måns Söderbom & Abena Oduro & Remco Oostendorp & Cathy Pattillo & Francis Teal & Albert Zeufack, 2000. "Credit constraints in manufacturing enterprises in Africa," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-24, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
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  6. Marcel Fafchamps & Måns Söderbom, 2004. "Wages and Labor Management in African Manufacturing," CSAE Working Paper Series 2004-02, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  7. Sleuwaegen, Leo & Goedhuys, Micheline, 2002. "Growth of firms in developing countries, evidence from Cote d'Ivoire," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 117-135, June.
  8. Arne Bigsten & Paul Collier & Stefan Dercon & Marcel Fachamps & Bernard Gauthier & Jan Willem Gunning & Abena Oduro & Remco Oostendorp & Catherine Pattillo & Mans Soderbom & Francis Teal & Albert Zeuf, 2004. "Do African manufacturing firms learn from exporting?," Development and Comp Systems 0409071, EconWPA.
  9. Sofronis Clerides & Saul Lach & James Tybout, 1996. "Is "learning-by-exporting" important? Micro-dynamic evidence from Colombia, Mexico and Morocco," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 96-30, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  16. Soderbom, Mans & Teal, Francis & Harding, Alan, 2006. "The Determinants of Survival among African Manufacturing Firms," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(3), pages 533-55, April.
  17. 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.
  18. Arne Bigsten & Peter Kimuyu & Karl Lundvall, 2004. "What to Do with the Informal Sector?," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 22(6), pages 701-715, November.
  19. Soderbom, Mans & Teal, Francis & Wambugu, Anthony, 2005. "Unobserved heterogeneity and the relation between earnings and firm size: evidence from two developing countries," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 153-159, May.
  20. Marcel Fafchamps & Jan Willem Gunning and Remco Oostendorp, 1999. "Inventories and risk in African manufacturing," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/1999-19, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  21. Benn Eifert & Alan Gelb & Vijaya Ramachandran, 2005. "Business Environment and Comparative Advantage in Africa: Evidence from the Investment Climate Data," Working Papers 56, Center for Global Development.
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  23. Alan Harding & Måns Söderbom & Francis Teal, 2004. "Survival and Success among African Manufacturing Firms," CSAE Working Paper Series 2004-05, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
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  26. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
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  31. Arne Bigsten, 1999. "Adjustment Costs, Irreversibility, and Investment Patterns in African Manufacturing," IMF Working Papers 99/99, International Monetary Fund.
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  33. Bernard Gauthier & Isidro Soloaga & James Tybout, 2002. "A Firm's-Eye View of Commercial Policy and Fiscal Reforms in Cameroon," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 16(3), pages 449-472, December.
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  35. 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.
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