Dr. Mulu Gebreeyesus

Affiliated researcher

Research group(s):
1. Economics of Knowledge and Innovation
5. Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Sustainability Transitions

An Ethiopian national, Dr. Mulu Gebreeyesus Gebreyohannes is currently a Senior Researcher at the Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI). He is also a Senior Program Lead at the Environment and Climate Research Centre (ECRC) based in EDRI. He was previously (June 2008 to May 2014) a Research Fellow at the United Nations University (UNU-MERIT) Maastricht, the Netherlands. He holds a PhD in Economics from the Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg, Sweden in 2006.

Gebreeyesus’s current research interest is on industrial policy practices and challenges, development of non-traditional activities, trade orientation and firm performance, and entrepreneurship and small business development. He has widely published in the field of development economics and particularly competition and enterprises dynamics (investment, growth, entry-exit and productivity), the practice and impact of industrial policy, and innovation and growth in small businesses in developing countries.

Some of his recent and ongoing research projects include:

  • Principal Investigator of an ongoing research program “SME-Finance Impact Evaluation” a collaborative work with World Bank and funded by the European Union (EU) - running from 2016-2019.
  • Principal Investigator of an undergoing long-term research program on Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development in Ethiopia (ESBDE) at EDRI funded by IDRC and ECRC/EDRI.
  • Principal Investigator of undergoing project entitled “Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Ethiopia: challenges, alternatives and opportunities” funded by the Ethiopian Policy Study and Research Centre (EPSRC).
  • Co-investigatory of undergoing project on “Interactions between Industrial Polices and Green Economy Strategies in Ethiopia” in collaboration with University College London (UCL) and funded by CDKN/DFID.
  • Principal Investigator “Protection, export incentives and export performance in Ethiopia” internally funded project.
  • Co-investigator a policy research project on “Industrial Park Development in Ethiopia” internally funded project.



Selected publications by Mulu Gebreeyesus


Articles (journal, professional, popular)
Okereke, Chukwumerije, Alexia Coke, Mulu Gebreeyesus, Tsegaye Ginbo, Jeremy J Wakeford & Yacob Mulugetta, 2019, Governing green industrialisation in Africa: Assessing key parameters for a sustainable socio-technical transition in the context of Ethiopia, World Development, 115: 279-290, More information
Siba, Eyerusalem & Mulu Gebreeyesus, 2017, Learning to export and learning from exporting: The case of Ethiopia manufacturing, Journal of African Economies, 26(1): 1-23, More information
Wakeford, Jeremy J, Mulu Gebreeyesus, Tsegaye Ginbo, Kassahun Yimer, Ornelie Manzambi, Chukwumerije Okereke, Mairi Black & Yacob Mulugetta, 2017, Innovation for green industrialisation: An empirical assessment of innovation in Ethiopia's cement, leather and textile sectors, Journal of Cleaner Production, 166: 503 - 511, More information
Iizuka, Michiko & Mulu Gebreeyesus, 2017, ‘Discovery’ of non-traditional agricultural exports in Latin America: diverging pathways through learning and innovation, Innovation and Development, DOI: : 10.1080/2157930X.2017.1355771
Iizuka, Michiko & Mulu Gebreeyesus, 2017, Using Functions of Innovation Systems to Understand the SuccessfulEmergence of Non-traditional Agricultural Export Industriesin Developing Countries: Cases from Ethiopia and Chile, The European Journal of Development Research, 29(2): 384-403, DOI: 10.1057/s41287-016-0004-0
Bigsten, Arne, Mulu Gebreeyesus & Mans Soderbom, 2016, Tariffs and Firm Performance in Ethiopia, The Journal of Development Studies, 52(7): 986-1001, DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2016.1139691, More information
Gebreeyesus, Mulu, 2015, Firm adoption of international standards: evidence from the Ethiopian floriculture sector, Agricultural Economics, 46(S1): 139-155, DOI: 10.1111/agec.12203, More information
Gebreeyesus, Mulu & P. Mohnen, 2013, Innovation Performance and Embeddedness in networks: Evidence from the Ethiopian Footwear Cluster, World Development, 41: 302-316, DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2012.05.029, More information
Gebreeyesus, Mulu & Sonobe Tetsushi, 2012, Global Value Chains and Market Formation Process in Emerging Export Activity: Evidence from Ethiopian Flower Industry, Journal of Development Studies, 48(3): 335-348, DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2011.635199, More information
Gebreeyesus, Mulu & Michiko Iizuka, 2011, Discovery of Flower Industry in Ethiopia: Experimentation and Coordination, Journal of Globalization and Development, 2(2): 1837-1948, More information
Bigsten, Arne & Mulu Gebreeyesus, 2009, Firm Productivity and Exports: Evidence from Ethiopian Manufacturing, Journal of Development Studies, 45(10): 1594-1614
Gebreeyesus, Mulu, 2008, Firm turnover and productivity differentials in Ethiopian manufacturing, Journal of Productivity Analysis, 29(2): 113-129, More information
Bigsten, Arne & Mulu Gebreeyesus, 2007, The Small, the Young, and the Productive: Determinants of Manufacturing Firm Growth in Ethiopia, Economic Development and Cultural Change, 55(4)


Book chapters
Gebreeyesus, Mulu, 2018, Industries without smokestacks: Implications for Ethiopia’s industrialization, in: Richard Newfarmer, John Page, and Finn Trap, Industries without Smokestacks and Structural Transformation in Africa, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, More information
Gebreeyesus, Mulu, 2017, natural experiment of industrial policy: Floriculture and the metal and engineering industries in Ethiopia, in: John Page and Finn Trap, The Practice of Industrial Policy, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, More information
Gebreeyesus, Mulu, 2016, Industrial policy and development in Ethiopia: Evolution and present experimentation, in: Carol Newman, John Page, John Rand, Abebe Shimeles, Mans Soderbom, and Finn Tarp, Manufacturing Transformation: Comparative Studies of Industrial Development in Africa and Emerging Asia, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, More information
Gebreeyesus, Mulu, 2011, Innovation and Microenterprise Growth in Ethiopia, in: Adam Szirmai, Wim Naude and Micheline Goedhuys, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Economic Development, Oxford University Press, New York, US, DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199596515.003.0006, More information


Books (monograph or edited volume)
Gebreeyesus, Mulu, Abebe Ambachew, Tigabu Degu, Berihu Assefa, Girum Abebe, Seid Hassen & Haileselassie Medhin, 2018, Main Features of Micro and Small Manufacturing Enterprises in Ethiopia: Baseline Survey Report, Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 1-143, 1-143 pp, More information
Gebreeyesus, Mulu, Birhanu Beshah & Girum Abebe, 2017, Foreign Direct Investment in Ethiopia: Challenges, Opportunities and Policy Options for Effective Use to Stimulate Industrialization, PSRC and EDRI, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, More information


UNU-MERIT Working Papers
Gebreeyesus, Mulu, 2014, Firms' adoption of international standards: Evidence from the Ethiopian floriculture sector, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2014-007
Szirmai, Adam, Mulu Gebreeyesus, Francesca Guadagno & Bart Verspagen, 2013, Promoting productive employment in Sub-Saharan Africa: A review of the literature, A report prepared for the Knowledge Platform Development Policies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2013-062
Gebreeyesus, Mulu, 2013, The end of the multifibre arrangement (MFA) and the heterogeneous performance of quota-constrained countries, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2013-035
Iizuka, Michiko & Mulu Gebreeyesus, 2012, A systemic perspective in understanding the successful emergence of non-traditional exports: two cases from Africa and Latin America, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2012-052
Gebreeyesus, Mulu & Pierre Mohnen, 2011, Innovation performance and embeddedness in networks: evidence from the Ethiopian footwear cluster, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2011-043
Gebreeyesus, Mulu & Michiko Iizuka, 2010, Discovery of the flower industry in Ethiopia: experimentation and coordination, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2010-025
Gebreeyesus, Mulu, 2009, Inactions and Spikes of Investment in Ethiopian Manufacturing Firms: Empirical Evidence on Irreversibility and Non-convexities, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2009-061
Gebreeyesus, Mulu, 2009, Innovation and Microenterprises Growth in Ethiopia, This paper was presented at the UNU-WIDER and UNU-MERIT Research Workshop on Entrepreneurship, Technological Innovation, and Development, held in Maastricht, the Netherlands, 30–31 October 2008. This paper is also published as UNU-WIDER Working Paper 20, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2009-053


External working papers
Abebe, Girum, Berihu Assefa, Mulu Gebreeyesus & Tigabu Degu, 2018, Identifying dynamic and constrained entrepreneurs in low income countries: evidence from Ethiopia, More information
Assefa, Berihu, Mulu Gebreeyesus & Firew Weldeyes, 2018, Alleviating the Barriers to Domestic Investment in Addis Ababa: Underlined Causes and Proposed Solutions, More information
Gebreeyesus, Mulu & Ashagrie Demile, 2017, Why export promotion efforts failed to deliver? Assessment of the export incentives and their implementation in Ethiopia, EDRI Working Paper 17, More information
Gebreeyesus, Mulu, 2017, Industries without smokestacks: Implications for Ethiopia’s industrialization, WIDER Working Paper 2017/14, More information
Lenhardt, Amanda ODI, Andrew ODI Rogerson, Francesca Guadagno, Tom ODI Berliner, Mulu Gebreeyesus & Alebel Bayru, 2015, One foot on the ground, one foot in the air - Ethiopia’s delivery on ambitious development agenda, ODI Development Progress and ECDPM, 2015, More information
Gebreeyesus, Mulu, 2014, A natural experiment of industrial policy: Floriculture and the metal and engineering industries in Ethiopia, WIDER Working Paper 2014/163, More information
Gebreeyesus, Mulu, 2013, Industrial policy and development in Ethiopia: Evolution and present experimentation, WIDER Working Paper WP/2013/125, UNU-WIDER, More information
Siba, Eyerusalem, Mans Soderbom, Arne Bigsten & Mulu Gebreeyesus, 2012, Enterprise Agglomeration, Output Prices, and Physical Productivity: Firm-Level Evidence from Ethiopia, UNU-WIDER Working Paper, 2012/85, More information
Bigsten, Arne, Mulu Gebreeyesus & Mans Soderbom (eds.), 2009, Gradual Trade Liberalization and Firm Response in Ethiopia, Oxford Centre for the Studies of African Economies (CSAE), Working Paper - WPS/2009-21, More information
Bigsten, Arne & Mulu Gebreeyesus (eds.), 2008, Firm productivity and Exports: Evidence from Ethiopian manufacturing, Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics, April, 2008, No. 303


Research reports
Bayru, Alebel, Mulu Gebreeyesus, Girum Abebe & Berihu Assefa, 2017, Study on Industrial Park Development: Issues, Practices and Lessons for Ethiopia, Research Report 29, Ethiopian Development Research Institute, More information
Wakeford, Jeremy J, Mulu Gebreeyesus, Tsegaye Ginbo, Kassahun Yimer, Ornelie Manzambi, Mairi Black, Yacob Mulugetta & Chukwumerije Okereke, 2016, An Assessment of Ethiopia’s Innovation Systems in Relation to Green Industrialisation, Project entitled: Interactions between Industrial Policies and Green Economy Strategies in Ethiopia Funded by: Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), More information


Conference contributions
Gebreeyesus, Mulu, 2012, The end of the Multifiber Arrangement (MFA) and heterogeneous performance of quota constrained countries, The 10th GLOBELICS International Conference "Innovation and Development: Opportunities and challenges in Globalization" held between 9-11 November 2012 in Hangzhou, China
Gebreeyesus, Mulu & Michiko Iizuka, 2009, Discovery of successful non-traditional exports in Ethiopia and Chile: experimentation and coordination, presented at an international workshop "Pathways to Industrialization in the 21st Century" organized by UNIDO, UNU-MERIT, and UNU-WIDER in October 22-23, 2009, Maastricht
Gebreeyesus, Mulu & Tetsushi Sonobe, 2009, Governance of global value chain and firms’ capability in African floriculture, “Economic Development in Africa’ 2009 conference, Centre for the study of African economies (CSAE), Oxford, UK. March 22-24, 2009
Gebreeyesus, Mulu, 2008, Industrial policy and development of Floriculture and Leather sectors in Ethiopia, Workshop of Initiative for Policy Dialog (IDP) Africa Task Force, July 10-11, 2008, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Other (editorship, media appearance, keynote, etc.)
Gebreeyesus, Mulu & Michiko Iizuka, 2010, Experimentation and Co-ordination as Industrial Policy: Examples from Ethiopia and Chile, WIDER Angle Newsletter
Gebreeyesus, Mulu & Michiko Iizuka, 2010, Experimentation and coordination as Industrial Policy: examples from Ethiopia and Chile, Featured article for WIDER ANGLE, UNU-WIDER, pp3


UNU-MERIT