Exports of African manufactures: macro policy and firm behaviour
Arne Bigsten (),
Bernard Gauthier (),
Jan Willem Gunning (),
Francis Teal and
Albert Zeufack ()
The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, 1999, vol. 8, issue 1, 53-71
Macro policy has changed the real exchange rates for African countries dramatically in the 1990s. In this paper the possible impact of macroeconomic policy on firms in the manufacturing sector is considered based on a panel survey of such firms in Cameroon. Kenya, Ghana and Zimbabwe. The data show that most large African manufacturing firms do export, but most do not specialize in exporting. An export equation is estimated both for the propensity of the firms to export and the percentage of output exported. It is shown that a stable export function can be estimated for all four countries over the three rounds of the survey. While there is no evidence that real devaluations have effected a general rise in manufactured exports there is evidence from the surveys of a rise in the percentage of output exported from the Cameroon. Reasons for the lack of a general response to macro policy are suggested. In the Cameroon, large firms did increase their propensity to export. Understanding the links between macro policy and firm performance may require an understanding of how such policies impact on different types of firms.
Keywords: Export performance; export incentives; African manufacturing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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