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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.

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

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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
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