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South African exporting firms: What do we know and what should we know?

Lawrence Edwards (), Neil Rankin () and Volker Schöer ()

MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: Policies to stimulate export growth and diversify the composition of exports in South Africa are now high on the government’s agenda. In order to understand exporting and its impact on job creation, one needs to understand how firms function, what determines, or constrains, exporting at the firm level and the links between export behaviour and labour demand. An understanding of these relationships, particularly over time, is also essential for the implementation and evaluation of export related policies. This paper reviews the evidence on South African exporting firms, highlighting what we know, and what we do not know. A key conclusion is that our understanding of firm level export behaviour is severely constrained by the lack of adequate firm data, particularly panel data.

Keywords: South Africa; exports; firms (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D21 D24 F12 F14 F19 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr and nep-int
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Published in Journal of Development Perspectives 4.1(2008): pp. 67-92

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