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Manabu Nose
After a decade of rapid growth, industrialization has lost ground with shrinking manufacturing sector and high informality in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This paper explores how land market and labor regulations affect factor allocative efficiency and firm performance in SSA. Using pooled data on firm balance sheets for 40 countries in SSA, the results identify significant land and labor misallocations due to limited market allocation of land and inappropriate regulatory policies. Using variations in ethnic diversity and the intensity of regulatory actions to peer firms at subnational level as instrumental variables, local average treatment effects show large productivity gains from factor reallocations, especially for marginally productive firms. Panel data results for Nigerian firms confirm factor market inefficiency as a principal driver of declining productivity, while showing that the 2011 minimum wage reform increased firm size. The results imply that improving formal regulation is critical to support firm growth at the stage of weak legal capacity, while informal sector monitoring gets effective as legal capacity develops.
Mr. Pierre Dhonte
This paper describes the African economic growth and asserts the establishment of a growth-conducive environment is the unifying purpose of the IMF’s extensive involvement in Africa. A major purpose of the IMF’s extensive involvement in Africa is to promote high quality growth. As to the specific basis for the IMF’s original perspective on growth, it may be found in the debate that followed the debt crisis of the 1980s, when the concrete relevance of growth as a determinant of the sustainability of balance-of-payments positions and of the viability of a country's payments system became evident. Although the elimination of financial instability is essential to remove trade restraints, and thereby to promote growth, growth in turn is necessary if trade restraints are to be averted. The point of anchoring the domestic system of relative prices to the international system through open trading and an equilibrium exchange rate is to provide signals that will guide the efficient utilization of domestic resources; the whole approach becomes pointless if these signals are blocked by domestic price regulation.
International Monetary Fund
Authors of Working Papers are normally staff members of the Fund or consultants, although on occasion outside authors may collaborate with a staff member in writing a paper. The views expressed in the Working Papers or their summaries are, however, those of the authors and should not necessarily be interpreted as representing the views of the Fund. Copies of individual Working Papers and information on subscriptions to the annual series of Working Papers may be obtained from IMF Publication Services, International Monetary Fund, 700 19th Street, Washington, D.C. 20431. Telephone: (202) 623-7430 Telefax: (202) 623-7201 This compilation of summaries of Working Papers released during July-December 1994 is being issued as a part of the Working Paper series. It is designed to provide the reader with an overview of the research work performed by the staff during the period.