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Which firms export? An empirical analysis for the manufacturing sector in the MENA region

Ali Fakih (Department of Economics, School of Business, Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon)
Pascal L. Ghazalian (Department of Economics, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Canada)

Journal of Economic Studies

ISSN: 0144-3585

Article publication date: 2 September 2014

873

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the export behaviour of manufacturing firms located in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region using data from the World Bank's Enterprise Surveys Database.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper examines the factors influencing the export behaviour of manufacturing firms located in the MENA region through a probit model for export decision and through a fractional logit model for export intensity.

Findings

The empirical results show significant positive effects of private foreign ownership, information and communication technology, and firm size on the probability of exporting and on export intensity of MENA manufacturing firms. Government ownership tends to exert negative effects on firms’ propensity to export. The results underscore enhancing effects of national economic development levels on firms’ export performance. Also, they indicate that firms’ propensity to export decreases with larger domestic market size. The empirical analysis reveals considerable heterogeneity in the implications of firm characteristics for firms’ export behaviour through firm size categories and across MENA countries.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the literature by conducting overall and comparative cross-country empirical analyses of the factors influencing the export behaviour of manufacturing firms located in the MENA region. It also explores the specificities of small and large firms’ responses to the factors influencing firms’ export behaviour. The results have implications for policies intended to enhance industrial growth and international competitiveness of the manufacturing sector in the MENA region.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

JEL Classifications — F1, F4, F14

Citation

Fakih, A. and L. Ghazalian, P. (2014), "Which firms export? An empirical analysis for the manufacturing sector in the MENA region", Journal of Economic Studies, Vol. 41 No. 5, pp. 672-695. https://doi.org/10.1108/JES-10-2012-0142

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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