This paper examines whether regional trade and regional infrastructure
have long-lasting effects on firm-level productivity, which is a crucial
link in the theory of change from regional infrastructure to sustained
Firm-level panel data (Malawi, Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa) show
regional exporters have a higher level and growth in productivity. New
econometric evidence for sub-Saharan Africa also finds firms in
countries with better regional infrastructure have higher productivity.
Policy should focus on improving regional infrastructure. Attention
should go not only to reducing clearing costs at different border
crossings but also to reducing the large spread in costs among firms
using the same gateway.
te Velde, D.W. Regional trade and infrastructure and firm-level productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa. ODI, London, UK (2015) 31 pp.