Review of World Economics

, Volume 150, Issue 2, pp 309–336 | Cite as

Importing, exporting and performance in sub-Saharan African manufacturing firms

  • Neil Foster-McGregorEmail author
  • Anders Isaksson
  • Florian Kaulich
Original Paper


This paper examines productivity differences between internationally trading and non-trading firms using data on a sample of firms from 19 sub-Saharan African countries. The paper provides the first evidence of whether exporters, importers and two-way traders perform better than non-traders, and whether there are differences in performance between different types of trading firms in sub-Saharan Africa. Our results indicate that exporters, importers and two-way traders perform better than non-exporters, non-importers and non-two-way traders. We further find that two-way traders perform better than importers only or exporters only, results largely consistent with recent results for other countries and regions. Considering information on export starters, continuers and exiters we also present some evidence suggesting that there is no significant difference in performance between export continuers and starters.


Firm-level performance Importers Exporters 

JEL Classification

D24 F10 M20 L10 


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Copyright information

© Kiel Institute 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neil Foster-McGregor
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anders Isaksson
    • 2
  • Florian Kaulich
    • 3
  1. 1.Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw)ViennaAustria
  2. 2.UNIDOViennaAustria
  3. 3.Department of EconomicsVienna University of Economics and BusinessViennaAustria

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