How did Ghanaian manufacturing firms change in the period between 2003 and 2013? This paper presents results from a survey of 1000 firms in Ghana, conducted in 2013, which were randomly selected from the 2003 Ghanaian National Industrial Census. This survey allows us to track survival and exit of firms between 2003 and 2013. We find strong regional differences and also differences for small, medium and large firms. The exit rate of firms in Kumasi, the second city, is lower than in Accra, but the growth rate of firms in Kumasi was also lower. Small firms were more likely to exit than large firms. Overall, the picture we paint of manufacturing in Ghana is not a positive one: total employment by firms operating before 2003 decreased from 134 863 in 2003 to 74 319 in 2013. It remains a question to what extent this was compensated by new employment by firms that entered after 2003, who were not surveyed. We also consider the firm size distribution evolution, and show that selection plays some role in explaining the positive correlation between firm size and age, but that this is less strong than in earlier studies.
Davies, E.; Kerr, A. Firm Survival and Change in Ghana, 2003-2013. CSAE Economics Department, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK (2015) 24 pp. [CSAE Working Paper WPS/2015-06]