Manufacturing Employment Elasticity and Its Drivers in Developing and Emerging Countries : Focus on Sub-Saharan Africa

This paper does not try to provide comprehensive analysis of the de-industrialization process, deeply addressed by researchers, but rather assess to what extent manufacturing activities, limited as they are, are inclusive in sub-Saharan Africa, compared to the rest of their economy. The second issue this paper is trying to address is to identify the determinants of employment intensity of growth in the manufacturing sector based on a sample of 30 developing and emerging countries, including eleven sub-Saharan countries. In fact, studies tend to focus on drivers of overall employment intensity that encompass heterogeneous sectoral dynamics between growth and employment. Few studies have desegregated the analysis by sectoral level but still considered the secondary activities as a whole including manufacturing, construction, utilities and mining and quarrying. The present paper goes beyond these limitations and tries to assess how different manufacturing elasticity responsiveness is to a set of explanatory variables in comparison to overall employment elasticity. This paper contributes to empirical literature on the matter by providing a new set of employment-output intensities in the manufacturing sector for eleven Sub-Saharan African economies and by assessing the key factors shaping cross-country elasticities, based on a sample consisting of 29 developing and emerging countries provided by the Groningen Growth and Development Centre (GGDC), covering the period 1990-2010.