Productivity Convergence and Learning by Exporting, Firm-Level Evidence from Tunisia

Despite impressive economic growth, productivity in Tunisia has not increased as much as GDP in recent decades. This paper documents that only a few top-performing firms have increased their productivity; by and large, most manufacturing firms’ productivity levels have remained stagnant. This finding might imply that Tunisia’s recent GDP growth might be a one-off event rather than a sustainable trend, as the growth has been fuelled by an increase in factor inputs, rather than by an increase in productivity. Hence, increasing productivity is a key priority of economic and development policies in Tunisia.

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