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Importing, Productivity and Absorptive Capacity in Sub-Saharan African Manufacturing Firms

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  • Neil Foster-McGregor

    () (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)

  • Anders Isaksson
  • Florian Kaulich

Abstract

Our study extends the recent literature on the importer-productivity relationship to a firm-level dataset for sub-Saharan Africa. Using a cross-section sample of 3090 firms in 19 countries, we find that importers are more productive than non-importers. The observed importer premium is found to be robust to firm-specific characteristics and to a number of alternative estimation methods. Furthermore, we examine the importance of absorptive capacity in enhancing the benefits from importing. Using recently developed quantile threshold regression methods, we find that higher levels of absorptive capacity, as measured by human capital, are associated with a stronger relationship between importing and productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Neil Foster-McGregor & Anders Isaksson & Florian Kaulich, 2013. "Importing, Productivity and Absorptive Capacity in Sub-Saharan African Manufacturing Firms," wiiw Working Papers 105, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
  • Handle: RePEc:wii:wpaper:105
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    1. repec:bla:worlde:v:40:y:2017:i:2:p:369-392 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Luke Emeka Okafor & Mita Bhattacharya & Harry Bloch, 2017. "Imported Intermediates, Absorptive Capacity and Productivity: Evidence from Ghanaian Manufacturing Firms," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(2), pages 369-392, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    importing; productivity; sub-Saharan Africa; absorptive capacity; human capital;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • M20 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics - - - General
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General

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