IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

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

  • Neil Foster-McGregor

    ()

    (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)

  • Anders Isaksson
  • Florian Kaulich

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.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.wiiw.ac.at/importing-productivity-and-absorptive-capacity-in-sub-saharan-african-manufacturing-firms-dlp-3091.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw in its series wiiw Working Papers with number 105.

as
in new window

Length: 28 pages including 8 Tables and 5 Figures
Date of creation: Nov 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as wiiw Working Paper
Handle: RePEc:wii:wpaper:105
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Rahlgasse 3, A-1060 Vienna

Phone: (+43-1) 533 66 10
Fax: (+43-1) 533 66 10-50
Web page: http://www.wiiw.ac.at
Email:


More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: http://wiiw.ac.at

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Yasar, Mahmut & Morrison Paul, Catherine J., 2007. "International linkages and productivity at the plant level: Foreign direct investment, exports, imports and licensing," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 373-388, April.
  2. Davide Castellani & Francesco Serti & Chiara Tomasi, 2010. "Firms in International Trade: Importers' and Exporters' Heterogeneity in Italian Manufacturing Industry," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(3), pages 424-457, 03.
  3. Andrew.B Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Firms in international trade," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3682, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Hansen, B.E., 1991. "Inference when a Nuisance Parameter is Not Identified Under the Null Hypothesis," RCER Working Papers 296, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  5. Falvey, Rod & Foster, Neil & Greenaway, David, 2007. "Relative backwardness, absorptive capacity and knowledge spillovers," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 97(3), pages 230-234, December.
  6. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2004. "Trade in Capital Goods," Levine's Working Paper Archive 228400000000000019, David K. Levine.
  7. Antonio F. Galvao Jr. & Gabriel Montes‐Rojas & Jose Olmo, 2011. "Threshold quantile autoregressive models," Journal of Time Series Analysis, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(3), pages 253-267, 05.
  8. Francesco Serti & Chiara Tomasi, 2008. "Firm Heterogeneity: do destinations of exports and origins of imports matter?," LEM Papers Series 2008/14, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  9. Carlo Altomonte & Gabor Bekes, 2009. "Trade Complexity and Productivity," IEHAS Discussion Papers 0914, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  10. Jan Hagemejer & Marcin Kolasa, 2008. "Internationalization and economic performance of enterprises: evidence from firm-level data," National Bank of Poland Working Papers 51, National Bank of Poland, Economic Institute.
  11. Coe, David T. & Helpman, Elhanan, 1995. "International R&D spillovers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 859-887, May.
  12. Joachim Wagner, 2007. "Exports and Productivity: A Survey of the Evidence from Firm-level Data," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(1), pages 60-82, 01.
  13. Davide Castellani & Francesco Serti & Chiara Tomasi, 2008. "Firms in International Trade: Importers and Exporters Heterogeneity in the Italian Manufacturing Industry," LEM Papers Series 2008/04, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  14. Augier, Patricia & Cadot, Olivier & Dovis, Marion, 2009. "Imports and TFP at the Firm Level: The Role of Absorptive Capacity," CEPR Discussion Papers 7218, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Mary Amiti & Jozef Konings, 2007. "Trade Liberalization, Intermediate Inputs, and Productivity: Evidence from Indonesia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1611-1638, December.
  16. Békés, Gábor & Muraközy, Balázs & Harasztosi, Péter, 2011. "Firms and products in international trade: Evidence from Hungary," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 4-24, March.
  17. Sourafel Girma & Holger Görg, 2003. "Outsourcing, Foreign Ownership and Productivity: Evidence from UK Establishment Level Data," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 361, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  18. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman & Adam Szeidl, 2005. "Complementarities between Outsourcing and Foreign Sourcing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 19-24, May.
  19. 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.
  20. Adriana Peluffo & Dayna Zaclicever, 2013. "Imported Intermediates and Productivity: Does Absorptive Capacity Matter? A Firm-Level Analysis for Uruguay," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0613, Department of Economics - dECON.
  21. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Hansen, Bruce E., 1999. "Threshold effects in non-dynamic panels: Estimation, testing, and inference," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 345-368, December.
  23. Wagner, Joachim, 2011. "International Trade and Firm Performance: A Survey of Empirical Studies since 2006," IZA Discussion Papers 5916, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  24. Verardi, Vincenzo & Wagner, Joachim, 2010. "Productivity Premia for German Manufacturing Firms Exporting to the Euro-Area and Beyond: First Evidence from Robust Fixed Effects Estimations," IZA Discussion Papers 4964, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  25. Moshe Buchinsky, 1998. "The dynamics of changes in the female wage distribution in the USA: a quantile regression approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(1), pages 1-30.
  26. Görg, Holger & Hanley, Aoife & Strobl, Eric, 2007. "Productivity Effects of International Outsourcing: Evidence from Plant Level Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 6361, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  27. Antràs, Pol & Helpman, Elhanan, 2004. "Global Sourcing," CEPR Discussion Papers 4170, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  28. Anker Lund Vinding, 2006. "Absorptive capacity and innovative performance: A human capital approach," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(4-5), pages 507-517.
  29. Smeets, Valérie & Warzynski, Frédéric, 2010. "Learning by Exporting, Importing or Both? Estimating productivity with multi-product firms, pricing heterogeneity and the role of international trade," Working Papers 10-13, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  30. Martin Andersson & Hans Lööf & Sara Johansson, 2008. "Productivity and International Trade: Firm Level Evidence from a Small Open Economy," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 144(4), pages 774-801, December.
  31. Koenker,Roger, 2005. "Quantile Regression," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521608275, Junio.
  32. Bruce E. Hansen, 2000. "Sample Splitting and Threshold Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(3), pages 575-604, May.
  33. Armando Silva & Óscar Afonso & Ana Paula Africano, 2010. "Economic performance and international trade engagement: the case of Portuguese manufacturing firms," FEP Working Papers 369, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  34. Neil Foster-McGregor & Anders Isaksson & Florian Kaulich, 2013. "Foreign Ownership and Labour Markets in Sub-Saharan African Firms," wiiw Working Papers 99, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
  35. Juliette Milgram & Marion Dovis, 2008. "Trade,Tariffs and Total Factor Productivity: The Case of Spanish Firms," Working Papers. Serie EC 2008-06, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  36. Mirabelle Muûls & Mauro Pisu, 2007. "Imports and Exports at the Level of the Firm: Evidence from Belgium," CEP Discussion Papers dp0801, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  37. Maria Bas & Vanessa Strauss-Khan, 2014. "Does importing more inputs raise exports? Firm-level evidence from France," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01297202, HAL.
  38. Mark Doms & Eric J. Bartelsman, 2000. "Understanding Productivity: Lessons from Longitudinal Microdata," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 569-594, September.
  39. Feder, Gershon, 1983. "On exports and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1-2), pages 59-73.
  40. Sjoholm, Fredrik, 1999. "Exports, Imports and Productivity: Results from Indonesian Establishment Data," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 705-715, April.
  41. Maria Bas & Vanessa Strauss-Kahn, 2014. "Does importing more inputs raise exports? Firm-level evidence from France," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 150(2), pages 241-275, May.
  42. G. Steven Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," NBER Working Papers 3977, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  43. Hiroyuki Kasahara & Beverly Lapham, 2008. "Productivity and the Decision to Import and Export: Theory and Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 2240, CESifo Group Munich.
  44. Yama Temouri & Joachim Wagner, 2013. "Do outliers and unobserved heterogeneity explain the exporter productivity premium? Evidence from France, Germany and the United Kingdom," Working Paper Series in Economics 278, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  45. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  46. Michaely, Michael, 1977. "Exports and growth : An empirical investigation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 49-53, February.
  47. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:15:y:2008:i:3:p:1-7 is not listed on IDEAS
  48. Alexander Vogel & Joachim Wagner, 2010. "Higher productivity in importing German manufacturing firms: self-selection, learning from importing, or both?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 145(4), pages 641-665, January.
  49. Neil Foster-McGregor & Anders Isaksson & Florian Kaulich, 2014. "Outward Foreign Direct Investment, Exporting and Firm-Level Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(2), pages 244-257, February.
  50. FORLANI, Emanuele, 2010. "Irish firms' productivity and imported inputs," CORE Discussion Papers 2010015, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  51. Jushan Bai, 1995. "Estimating Multiple Breaks One at a Time," Working papers 95-18, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  52. Smeets, Valerie & Warzynski, Frederic, 2013. "Estimating productivity with multi-product firms, pricing heterogeneity and the role of international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 237-244.
  53. Neil Foster-McGregor & Anders Isaksson & Florian Kaulich, 2014. "Importing, exporting and performance in sub-Saharan African manufacturing firms," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 150(2), pages 309-336, May.
  54. Jože P. Damijan & Črt Kostevc, 2015. "Learning from Trade through Innovation," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 77(3), pages 408-436, 06.
  55. José C. Fariñas & Ana Martín-Marcos, 2010. "Foreign Sourcing and Productivity: Evidence at the Firm Level," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(3), pages 482-506, 03.
  56. Neil Foster-McGregor & Anders Isaksson & Florian Kaulich, 2013. "Importing, Exporting and the Productivity of Services Firms in Sub-Saharan Africa," wiiw Working Papers 98, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
  57. Neil Foster & Johann Scharler & Jesus Crespo-Cuaresma, 2008. "Barriers to technology adoption, international R and D spillovers and growth," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 15(3), pages 1-7.
  58. Hans Lööf & Martin Andersson, 2010. "Imports, Productivity and Origin Markets: The Role of Knowledge-intensive Economies," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(3), pages 458-481, 03.
  59. Gorzig, Bernd & Andreas Stephan, 2003. "Outsourcing and Firm-level Performance," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 90, Royal Economic Society.
  60. Liza Jabbour, 2010. "Offshoring and Firm Performance: Evidence from French Manufacturing Industry," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(3), pages 507-524, 03.
  61. Ann E. Harrison & Brian J. Aitken, 1999. "Do Domestic Firms Benefit from Direct Foreign Investment? Evidence from Venezuela," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 605-618, June.
  62. Vincenzo Verardi & Christophe Croux, 2009. "Robust regression in Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 9(3), pages 439-453, September.
  63. Stefanie A. Haller, 2012. "Intra-firm trade, exporting, importing, and firm performance," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1397-1430, November.
  64. Jože.P.Damijan & Črt. Kostevc, 2010. "Learning from trade through innovation: Causal link between imports, exports and innovation in Spanish microdata," LICOS Discussion Papers 26410, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  65. Mahmut Yasar, 2013. "Imported Capital Input, Absorptive Capacity, And Firm Performance: Evidence From Firm-Level Data," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 88-100, 01.
  66. Eriksson, Tor & Smeets, Valerie & Warzynski, Frederic, 2009. "Small Open Economy Firms in International Trade: Evidence from Danish Transactions-Level Data," Working Papers 09-7, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  67. Joel Rodrigue & Hiroyuki Kasahara, 2004. "Does the Use of Imported Intermediates Increase Productivity? Plant-Level Evidence," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 511, Econometric Society.
  68. Caner, Mehmet, 2002. "A Note On Least Absolute Deviation Estimation Of A Threshold Model," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(03), pages 800-814, June.
  69. John Baldwin & Wulong Gu, 2003. "Export-market participation and productivity performance in Canadian manufacturing," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 36(3), pages 634-657, August.
  70. Benhabib, Jess & Spiegel, Mark M., 1994. "The role of human capital in economic development evidence from aggregate cross-country data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 143-173, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wii:wpaper:105. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Customer service)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.