Survival in the Export Market of Sub-Saharan African Firms

Hasan A. Faruq, Xavier University - Cincinnati


To understand how Sub-Saharan African exporters can become more competitive, it is important to study their performance at the firm level. This paper uses firm-level data from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania to examine the likelihood of survivalamong these exporters. Unlike most studies on firm survival in the trade literature, we use a hazard model to carry out thesurvival analysis. We find that: (1) many firms have relatively short tenure in the export market, (2) larger and more productive exporters are more likely to survive, (3) older firms face greater risk of exit, and (4) survival rates are not influenced by foreign ownership, or worker's education and experience. These results hold across different specifications and provide a basis for future research on firm-level exporting activities in Sub-Saharan Africa and other developing countries.