Export Orientation and Productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa

30 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2006

See all articles by Taye Mengistae

Taye Mengistae

World Bank

Catherine A. Pattillo

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - Research Division

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

Suggested Citation

Mengistae, Taye Alemu and Pattillo, Catherine, Export Orientation and Productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa (May 2002). IMF Working Paper No. 02/89, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=879630

Taye Alemu Mengistae (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Catherine Pattillo

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - Research Division ( email )

700 19th Street NW
Washington, DC 20431
United States

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