Services Inputs and Firm Productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Firm-Level Data
16 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016
Date Written: November 1, 2006
The authors investigate the relationship between the productivity of African manufacturing firms and their access to services inputs. They use data from the World Bank Enterprise Survey for over 1,000 firms in 10 Sub-Saharan African countries to calculate the total factor productivity of firms. The Enterprise Surveys also contain unique measures of firms' access to communications, electricity, and financial services. The availability of these measures at the firm level, both as subjective and objective indicators, allows the authors to exploit the variation in services performance at the subnational regional level. Furthermore, by using the regional variation in services performance, they are also able to address concerns about the possible endogeneity of the services variables. The results show a significant and positive relationship between firm productivity and service performance in all three services sectors analyzed. The authors thus provide support for the argument that improvements in services industries contribute to enhancing the performance of downstream economic activities, and thus are an essential element of a strategy for promoting growth and reducing poverty.
Keywords: Economic Theory & Research, Education for the Knowledge Economy, Rural Communications, Commodities, Urban Economics
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