Article

Determinants of African Manufacturing Investment: the Microeconomic Evidence

Journal of African Economies (Impact Factor: 0.57). 01/2001; DOI: 10.1093/jae/10.Suppl2.48
Source: OAI

ABSTRACT In this survey paper we consider the microeconomic evidence on investment in African manufacturing. <?Pub Caret>We analyse both the determinants of investment behaviour and the return to that investment. In the 1990s market selection — the process by which the capital stock is reallocated in favour of more efficient firms — has been as strong in Africa as elsewhere. While the macroeconomic literature has focused on low returns to investment as an explanation for Africa's poor growth performance, the micro&hyphen;data indicate high potential returns. However, investment rates remain quite low, presumably as a result of risk, but the surveys currently available are not suitable for testing this.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Taye Mengistae, Jan 23, 2014
0 Followers
 · 
151 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper develops an empirically-relevant framework (a) to examine whether or not the African business environment hinders or promotes the knowledge economy (KE), (b) to determine how the KE which emerges from such an environment affects economic growth, and (c) how growth in turn relates to the ‘inclusive development’ of 53 African countries during the 1996-2010 time period. The framework provides a modest guide to policymaking about, and further research into, such relationships. We implement the framework by building a three-stage model and rationalizing it as five interrelated hypotheses. To allow greater concentration on the issues that are themselves already complex, our model is very simple, but clear. For example, we make neither an attempt to evaluate causality nor to test for it, even though we suspect the links to be multi-directional – opportunity costs are everywhere. Instead we focus on fundamental relationships between the dynamics of starting business and doing business as expressed in the state of KE, and through it to the inclusive development via the economic growth of those countries. Estimation results indicate that the dynamics of starting and doing business explain strongly a large part of variations in KE. The link between KE and economic growth exists, but it is weak, and we provide plausible reasons for such a result. Despite the weak association between KE and economic growth, KE-influenced growth plays a very important role in inclusive development. In fact, growth of this kind has stronger effects on inclusive development and by implication on poverty reduction, than some of conventional controls in this study such as FDI, foreign aid, and even private investment. There is clearly room for further research to improve the results, but just as clearly practical policy is best served by not neglecting the relationships examined in this paper.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Africa’s economic performance has been widely viewed with pessimism. This paper uses firm-level data for 89 countries to examine formal firm performance. Without controls, manufacturing African firms do not perform much worse than firms in other regions. But they do have structural problems, exhibiting much lower export intensity and investment rates. Once the analysis controls for geography and the political and business environment, formal African firms robustly lead in sales growth, total factor productivity levels and productivity growth. Africa’s conditional advantage is higher in low-tech than in high-tech manufacturing, and exists in manufacturing but not in services. While geography, infrastructure, and access to finance play an important role in explaining Africa’s disadvantage in firm performance, the key factor is party monopoly. The longer a single political party remains in power, the lower are firm productivity levels, growth rates, and sales growth for manufacturing. In contrast, the business environment and firm characteristics (except for foreign investment) do not matter as much. The paper also finds evidence that the effects of the political and business environment are heterogeneous across sectors and firms of various levels of technology.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Agricultural production is an important source of income and employment for developing countries, yet it is the cause of serious environmental problems. Though ECO-labels appear as a promising alternative to control the negative effects of agriculture on the environment and to increase the income of rural poor, the proportion of agricultural land and exports certified as is quite small. We investigate the factors that affect the adoption of certified organic coffee in Colombia and in particular study the effect of economic incentives on adoption. We find that those who have lower cost of adoption are more likely to be certified as organic. Correcting for sample selection, we find that certified organic production is 40% less productive and 31% less costly than non-certified production. Given the price premium in 2007, certified organic production is 15% less profitable than non-organic production. We find that in order to make organic production attractive, the price premium of certified organic coffee should be about 5 times higher than in 2007. --