Importing, Productivity and Absorptive Capacity in Sub-Saharan African Manufacturing and Services Firms

Neil Foster-McGregor, Anders Isaksson, Florian Kaulich

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung


This paper examines the relationship between importing and firm-level productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa. Using a recent firm-level survey for 19 Sub-Saharan African countries, the paper shows that there is a positive and significant relationship between importing and productivity for both manufacturing and services firms. Using a series of robustness tests, the paper finds that the importer-productivity relationship is robust in the case of manufacturing firms, but the results for services appear sensitive to the presence of extreme values. Finally, the paper shows that manufacturing firms with the highest levels of human capital show the strongest relationship between importing and productivity, a result consistent with a role for absorptive capacity in maximising the benefits of importing.
Seiten (von - bis)87 - 117
FachzeitschriftOpen Economies Review
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2016

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