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

Neil Foster-McGregor, Anders Isaksson, Florian Kaulich

Publication: Working/Discussion Paper

Abstract

Our study extends the recent literature on the importer-productivity relationship to a firm-level dataset for sub-Saharan Africa. Using a cross-section sample of 3,090 firms in 19 countries, we find that importers are more productive than non-importers. The observed importer premium is found to be robust to firm-specific characteristics and to a number of alternative estimation methods. Furthermore, we examine the importance of absorptive capacity in enhancing the benefits from importing. Using recently developed quantile threshold regression methods, we find that higher levels of absorptive capacity, as measured by human capital, are associated with a stronger relationship between importing and productivity.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NameBIT Working Paper
Volume08/2013

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 502003 Foreign trade
  • 502046 Economic policy

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