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Learning to Export: evidence from Moroccan manufacturing

  • Marcel Fafchamps

    (Centre for the Study of African Economies)

  • Said El Hamine

    (Ministere du Commerce, Rabat, Morocco)

  • Albert Zeufack

    (DECRG , The World Bank)

This paper tests two alternative models of learning to export: productivity learning, whereby firms learn to reduce production costs, and market learning, whereby firms learn to design products that appeal to foreign consumers. Using panel and cross-section data on Moroccan manufacturers, we uncover evidence of market learning but little evidence of productivity learning. These findings are consistent with the concentration of Moroccan manufacturing exports in consumer items, i.e.the garment, textile, and leather sectors. It is the young firms that export. Most do so immediately after creation. We also find that, among exporters, new products are exported very rapidly after production has begun. The share of exported output nevertheless increases for 2-3 years after a new ptroduct is introduced. Old forms are unlikely to switch to exports, even in response to changes in macro incentives. We find a positive relationship between exports and productivity and conclude tha it is the result of self-selection: it is the more productive firms that move into exports. Policy implications are discussed.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series International Trade with number 0409004.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 15 Sep 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpit:0409004
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 45
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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