Zambian Manufacturing Performance in Comparative Perspective

Type Working Paper
Title Zambian Manufacturing Performance in Comparative Perspective
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2002
This paper presents an analysis of Zambian manufacturing performance since 1964. It presents new estimates of labour productivity growth and total factor productivity growth. After a period of growth and labour productivity improvement till 1974, Zambian manufacturing suffered from increasing inefficiencies in an import substituting and interventionist environment. Growth of output slowed down, labour productivity and investment declined, though TFP showed some fluctuation. In the period of liberalisation between 1991-95, output shrank dramatically, TFP collapsed and labour productivity continued to decline. After 1995 indicators of performance point to a modest recovery. Following an industry-of-origin approach to international comparisons, the Zambian estimates are placed in comparative perspective in a binary comparison with the USA. In 1990, labour productivity in Zambia stood at 5.9 percent of the US level, while relative total factor productivity stood at 16.7 percent. Over time comparative labour productivity has been declining, indicating an increasing technology gap relative to the world frontier. By 1998, comparative labour productivity stood at 3.2 percent of the US level.

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