Home

>

‘Learning to export’ and ‘learning to innovate’: Revisiting the relationship between innovation and exports in African firms

This paper examines the relationship between innovation and export performance for African firms. We use Tobit simultaneous equation full information maximum likelihood (FIML) model with selection on a crosssectional dataset from the World Bank’s Enterprise Surveys for 28 African economies. The paper provides new evidence of a two-way positive relationship between innovation and export performance in African firms: innovation is important for both the ability to export (export propensity) and for export intensity, while exporting also increases the likelihood of innovating. These effects are driven mainly by direct exports and apply to both product and process innovation. We argue that these results point to a two-way relationship in which innovation enables firms to ‘learn to export’, while firms also ‘learn to innovate’ through exporting. A higher share of foreign ownership in firms, as well as firms having an internationally recognised quality certification strengthen the positive effects in both directions.

Working Paper 862
1 May 2021
SHARE THIS Working Paper PUBLICATION:

Related South Africa’s Cities and Growth Spatial Challenges and Policy Interventions Content

Request for Proposals: The role of cities as drivers of growth and employment
Background Urbanization in South Africa is expected to reach 80% by...
Call for Work
South Africa’s future will be decided in our cities
Discussion Document 14 South Africa’s cities face multiple, overlap...
Dieter von Fintel, Justin Visagie, Ivan Turok, Takwanisa Machemedze, Claus Rabe, Sebastian Galiani, Edward Glaeser
Discussion Document
Monitoring South Africa’s metropolitan economies: A survey of the data landscape
Discussion Document 13 Disparities in data across different metropo...
Dieter von Fintel
Discussion Document
Cities, productivity and Jobs in SA: Problems and potential
Discussion Document 12 Cities contribute to national prosperity bec...
Ivan Turok, Justin Visagie
Discussion Document
Place-based economic policies: international lessons for South Africa
Discussion Document 11 Place-based policies are designed to support...
Harris Selod, Claus Rabe
Discussion Document
What luminosity data can and cannot reveal about South Africa’s urban economies
Discussion Document 10 As novel types of data are becoming availabl...
Takwanisa Machemedze
Discussion Document
Crime: A policy-oriented survey
Discussion Document 9 South Africa has a reputation for having high...
Sebastian Galiani
Discussion Document
Virtual CDE Workshop on SA Cities and Growth
Urban economics has provided powerful insights into how the charact...
Workshop

Search Resources

Ground Floor Brookside Building
11 Imam Haron Road
Claremont, 7700
Cape Town

PostNet Suite # 109
Private Bag X1005
Claremont 7735
Cape Town

Get Social