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Importing, Exporting and the Productivity of Services Firms in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Neil Foster-McGregor

    ()

    (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)

  • Anders Isaksson
  • Florian Kaulich

Abstract In this paper we examine productivity differences between trading and non-trading firms in the services sector using recently collected data on a sample of 19 sub-Saharan African firms. A variety of parametric and non-parametric tests are implemented in order to examine whether exporters, importers and two-way traders perform better than non-traders, and whether there are differences in performance between different types of trading firms. Our results indicate that services firms that are engaged in international trade perform significantly better than those firms that trade on the domestic market only. Two-way traders and exporters only are found to perform better than importers only, with no significant difference in performance found between two-way traders and exporters only. We further present evidence indicating that there is no significant difference in performance between export starters and export continuers, a result consistent with the self-selection hypothesis for African services firms.

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Paper provided by The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw in its series wiiw Working Papers with number 98.

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Length: 26 pages including 12 Tables
Date of creation: Mar 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as wiiw Working Paper
Handle: RePEc:wii:wpaper:98
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  1. Joachim Wagner, 2012. "International trade and firm performance: a survey of empirical studies since 2006," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 148(2), pages 235-267, June.
  2. Bhattacharya, Rudrani & Patnaik, Ila & Shah, Ajay, 2011. "Export versus FDI in services," Working Papers 11/77, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
  3. Joseph F. Francois & B. Hoekman, 2009. "Services Trade and Policy," wiiw Working Papers 60, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
  4. Koenker, Roger, 2004. "Quantile regression for longitudinal data," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 74-89, October.
  5. Alexander Vogel & Joachim Wagner, 2008. "Higher Productivity in Importing German Manufacturing Firms: Self-selection, Learning from Importing, or Both?," Working Paper Series in Economics 106, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  6. Joachim Wagner, 2005. "Exports and Productivity: A survey of the evidence from firm level data," Working Paper Series in Economics 4, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  7. Moshe Buchinsky, 1998. "Recent Advances in Quantile Regression Models: A Practical Guideline for Empirical Research," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(1), pages 88-126.
  8. 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.
  9. Mirabelle Muûls & Mauro Pisu, 2007. "Imports and Exports at the Level of the Firm : Evidence from Belgium," Working Paper Research 114, National Bank of Belgium.
  10. Koenker,Roger, 2005. "Quantile Regression," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521608275.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Harris, Richard D, 2002. "Foreign Ownership and Productivity in the United Kingdom--Some Issues When Using the ARD Establishment Level Data," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 49(3), pages 318-35, August.
  14. Pedro Martins & Yong Yang, 2009. "The impact of exporting on firm productivity: a meta-analysis of the learning-by-exporting hypothesis," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 145(3), pages 431-445, October.
  15. Neil Foster-McGregor & Anders Isaksson & Florian Kaulich, 2013. "Importing, Exporting and Performance in Sub-Saharan African Manufacturing Firms," wiiw Working Papers 96, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
  16. Richard Harris & Catherine Robinson, 2003. "Foreign Ownership and Productivity in the United Kingdom Estimates for U.K. Manufacturing Using the ARD," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 207-223, May.
  17. Ivan A. Canay, 2011. "A simple approach to quantile regression for panel data," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 14(3), pages 368-386, October.
  18. David Powell, 2010. "Unconditional Quantile Regression for Panel Data with Exogenous or Endogenous Regressors," Working Papers 710-1, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  19. 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.
  20. Andersson, Martin & Johansson, Sara & Lööf, Hans, 2007. "Productivity and International Trade - firm-level evidence from a small open economy," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 99, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
  21. Delgado, Miguel A. & Farinas, Jose C. & Ruano, Sonia, 2002. "Firm productivity and export markets: a non-parametric approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 397-422, August.
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