Export Orientation and Productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa
30 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2006
Date Written: May 2002
Analysis of firm-level panel data from three sub-Saharan African economies shows that exporting manufacturers have a total factor productivity premium of 11-28 percent. The data do not allow testing of whether these premiums are caused by selection of more efficient producers into exporting or by learning-by-exporting. By thinking about the mechanisms behind selectivity and learning, however, our finding of higher premiums for direct exporters and exporters to outside Africa could be interpreted as being consistent with learning-by-exporting effects. However, if learning-by-exporting is indeed present in the data, we cannot disentangle its effect on productivity from those of more traditionally recognized channels of international technology diffusion.
Keywords: Exports, productivity, Africa, learning-by-exporting
JEL Classification: D21, D24, L60, O12
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