Absorptive Capacity and Export Diversification in Sub-Saharan African Countries

Habiyaremye, Alexis and Ziesemer, Thomas (2006). Absorptive Capacity and Export Diversification in Sub-Saharan African Countries. UNU-MERIT.

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  • Author Habiyaremye, Alexis
    Ziesemer, Thomas
    Title Absorptive Capacity and Export Diversification in Sub-Saharan African Countries
    Publication Date 2006
    Publisher UNU-MERIT
    Abstract This paper examines the extent to which dependence on primary commodities in Sub-Saharan African(SSA) countries can be explained by low levels of absorptive capacity (the ability to acquire, internalize and utilize knowledge developed elsewhere). We examine the individual and combined effects of various indicators of absorptive capacity on export diversification. We test the significance of these effects on a sub-sample consisting of SSA countries and a sample of other developing countries. Our results show that the association between higher levels human capital and basic infrastructure -two crucial components of absorptive capacity -with more export diversification is subject to threshold level effects, while the abundance of natural resources turns out to be impeding diversification in SSA. These results imply that SSA countries need to substantially increase their investments in basic infrastructure as well as reinforce the accumulation pace of human and physical capital to allow active technological learning and reduce their dependence on primary commodities.
    Keyword Absorptive capacity
    Human capital
    Capital accumulation
    Export diversification
    Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL O13
    Copyright Holder UNU-MERIT
    Copyright Year 2006
    ISSN 1871-9872
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    Created: Wed, 11 Dec 2013, 16:06:45 JST