Determinants of Export Propensity and Intensity of Manufacturing Firms in Cameroon: An Empirical Assessment

Dobdinga Cletus Fonchamnyo


Many Developing Countries in the process of economic transition have engaged themselves with outward-looking export oriented policies, aimed at making their manufacturing sector very competitive. In this regard, this study aimed at examining the factors that can influence both the level of exports and the likelihood to export of manufacturing firms. The data for the study was obtained from the World Bank Investment Climate Survey (ICS). The findings from this survey showed that the turnaround time for cargo clearance at the port is faster for exporters than for importers (15.1 to 23.9 days), while transportation and energy supply were cited by more than half of the firms as key obstacles to production. The key empirical findings on the one hand showed that human capital; years of experience, turnover, and modernization have positive effect on both the likelihood to export and on the export intensity. On the other hand, insecurity and power outage have a detrimental effect on export performance. The results also pointed to the fact that many of the firms were labour intensive firms, taking advantage of the abundant cheap labour in the country. These results put together, provide insights into some policies needed to promote the performance of export manufacturing firms in Cameroon, among which include an improvement in human capital, turnover, electricity supply, security and use of technological modernized equipment.


Full Text:



Alvarez, Roberto. (2007). “Explaining Export Success: Firm Characteristics and Spillover Effects.” World Development, Volume 35, Issue 3

Arnold, J.M. and K. Hussinger (2005) “Export Behavior and Firm Productivity in German Manufacturing: A Firm-Level Analysis” Review of World Economics, 141 (2)

Barrios, S., H. Gorg and E. Strobl (2003) “Explaining Firms’ Export Behaviour: R&D and the Destination Market,” Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics 65(4)

Beamish P R., Craig and K. McLellan (1993). “The Performance Characteristics of Canadian Versus U.K. Exporters in Small and Medium Sized Firms.” Management International Review, 33.

Bernard, A. and J. B. Jensen (2004) “Why Do Some Firms Export?” The Review Economics and Statistics 86(2)

Castellani, D., (2002) “Export Behavior and Productivity Growth: Evidence from Italian Manufacturing Firms,” Review of World Economics, 138(4)

Calvo, José L. (undated) “The Export Activity of Spanish Manufacturing Firms: Does Innovation Matter?” Website: Accessed on May 5, 2014

Farinas, J.C. and A. Martin-Marcos, (2007) “Exporting and Economic Performance: Firm-Level Evidence of Spanish Manufacturing,” The World Economy, 30(4)

Helpman, E., M. Melitz and Y. Rubinstein (2008) “Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 123

Hiep, N. and S. Nishijima (2009). “Export Intensity and Impacts from Firm Characteristics, Domestic Competition and Domestic Constraints in Vietnam: A Micro-data Analysis.” Paper presented at the RIEB Seminar on March 19, 2009. Website: Accessed on May 5, 2014

Iyer, K. (2010) “The Determinants of Firm-Le

vel Export Intensity in New Zealand Agriculture and Forestry.” Economic Analysis & Policy, Vol. 40 (1)

Liu, J. T., M. W. Tsou and J.K. Hammitt (1999) “Export Activity and Productivity: Evidence from the Taiwan Electronics Industry.” Review of World Economics, 135

Majocchia, A., E. Bacchiocchiband U. Mayrhoferc, (2005) “Firm Size, Business Experience and Export Intensity in SMEs: A Longitudinal Approach to Complex Relationships.” International Business Review 14 (6).

Okado, Abala Daniel (2013) “Export Propensity and Intensity of Kenyan Manufacturing Firms: An Empirical Analysis.” Journal of Emerging Issues in Economics, Finance and Banking (JEIEFB). Volume 2, No.2

Parish, Chelsey and Joanne Freeman (2011) “Factors contributing to the export propensity of Australian seafood firms.” Journal of New Business Ideas & Trends, 9(1)

Pope R.A., (2002), “Why Small Firms Export: Another Look.” Journal of Small Business Management, 40(1)

Roberts, M., and J. Tybout (1997): “The Decision to Export in Columbia: An Empirical Model of Entry with Sunk Costs,” American Economic Review, 87 (4).

Rojec, Matija, Joze P. Damijan & Boris Majcen (2001). “Export Propensity of Estonian and Slovenian Manufacturing Firms: Does Foreign Ownership Matter?” Working Paper, No. 11

Şentürk, İsmail and Cumhur Erdem (2008). “Determinants of Export Propensity and Intensity of SMEs in Developing Countries: An Empirical Analysis of Turkish Firms.” The Empirical Economics Letters, 7(2)

Shiferaw, Admasu (2007): “Firm Heterogeneity and Market Selection in Sub-Saharan Africa: Does it Spur Industrial Progress?.” Economic Development and Cultural Change, Vol. 55 No. 2

Wagner, Joachim (2005): “Exports and Productivity: A survey of the evidence from firm level data.” The World Economy. 30.

Yoshino, Yutaka (2007). “Domestic Constraints, Firm

Characteristics, and Geographical Diversification of Firm-Level Manufacturing Exports in Africa.” African Economic Conference, November 15-17, 2007, Addis Ababa



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Paper Submission E-mail:

Applied Economics and Finance    ISSN 2332-7294 (Print)   ISSN 2332-7308 (Online)

Copyright © Redfame Publishing Inc.

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders. If you have any questions, please contact: