Caio Torres Mazzi, Gideon Ndubuisi, and Elvis Korku Avenyo · 2020
UNU-WIDER Working Paper

Exporters and global value chain participation: Firm-level evidence from South Africa

Using the South African Revenue Service and National Treasury firm-level panel data for 2009-17, this paper investigates how global value chain-related trade affects the export performance of manufacturing firms in South Africa. In particular, the paper uses extant classifications of internationally traded products to identify different categories of global value chain-related products and compares the productivity premium of international traders for these different categories. Also, the paper investigates possible differences in learning-by-exporting effects across the identified categories of global value chain-related products by estimating the effect of exporting before and after entry into foreign markets. The results confirm that global value chain-related trade is associated with a higher productivity premium compared with traditional trade. However, within the categories of exporters, only the firms that trade in global value chain-related products and simultaneously engage in research and development in the post entry periods appear to learn from exporting.

Contributors from our Network

Gideon Ndubuisi

Gideon Ndubuisi
German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

Gideon Ndubuisi is a Research Economist at the German Development Institute/Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE). He has a BSc. in Economics from Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka (Nigeria), MSc. in Economics and Institutions from Philipps-University Marburg (Germany), and PhD in Economics from Maastricht University (Netherlands). Gideon has worked and consulted for different institutions such as the German Institute for Economic Research (Germany), Institute for World Economy (Germany), European Center for Economic Research (Germany), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (Austria), World Bank (USA), UNU-MERIT (Netherland), African Development Bank (Côte d'Ivoire), European Commission (Belgium), and NODAC Consulting (Nigeria). His primary research interests include Global Value Chains and Trade, Institutions, Tax Morale, Environment and Clean Energy Market, and Firm Performance and Structural Transformation.

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Elvis K. Avenyo

Elvis K. Avenyo
Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development (CCRED), the University of Johannesburg

I am a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development (CCRED) at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. Before joining CCRED, I was a Research Officer at the Technology and Management Centre for Development (TMCD), Oxford Department of International Development (ODID), University of Oxford. I was also a Global Excellence and Stature (GES) Fellow, and Open AIR’s Queen Elizabeth’s Scholar (QES) at the South African Research Chair in Industrial Development Unit, University of Johannesburg, South Africa. I obtained my Ph.D. in Economics of Innovation, Policy Studies of Technical Change and Governance in May 2018, from the United Nations University (UNU-MERIT)/Maastricht University, The Netherlands. I also hold a collaborative Master of Philosophy (M Phil.) in Economics from the University of Cape Coast (Ghana) and the African Economic Research Consortium’s Joint Facility for Electives: Collaborative Masters Programme (CMAP) in Economics. I research broadly on development economics with interests in innovation, technologies, industrial development, labour markets, firm behaviour, and a focus on developing countries.

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