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Export Orientation and Productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa
Taye Mengistae and Catherine Pattillo
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Analysis of firm-level panel data from three Sub-Saharan African economies shows that export manufacturers have an average total factor productivity premium of 17 percent. In addition to the effect on productivity levels, exporters enjoy productivity growth that is 10 percent faster than do non exporters. The data does not allow testing of whether these premiums are because of more efficient producers go into exporting, or because of a process of learning-by-exporting. In thinking about the mechanisms behind selectivity and learning, however, our finding of higher premiums for direct exporters, and for those who export to areas outside of Africa, could be interpreted as being consistent with learning-by-exporting effects. [JEL D21, D24, L60 O12].