Assessment of industrial performance and the relationship between skill, technology and input-output indicators in Sudan

Samia S. O. M. Nour


This paper examines the industrial performance indicators and the relationships between skill indicators; between skill, upskilling, technology and input-output indicators in Sudan. Our findings are consistent with the stylized facts in the new growth literature, concerning the correlation between skill indicators: education, experience and wages and also concerning the positive complementary relationships between technology, skill and upskilling. Different from the Sudanese literature, a novel element in our analysis is that we use a new primary data from the firm survey (2010) and we provide a new contribution and fill the gap in the Sudanese literature by examining the industrial performance indicators defined by three different sets of economic and productivity indicators, activity indicators and profitability indicators in Sudan. One advantage and interesting element in our analysis in this paper is that we confirm three hypotheses on the relationships between skill indicators; between skill, upskilling, technology and input-output indicators and industrial performance indicators using new primary data from the firm survey (2010) in Sudan. We verify our first hypothesis that irrespective of the observed differences across the industrial firms, the low skill levels - due to high share of unskilled workers - lead to skills mismatch and most probably contribute to decline of labour productivity and industrial performance indicators. We confirm our second hypothesis that an increase in skill levels and firm size lead to improved relationships between actual and required education and experience; between actual education, experience and wages; and between skill, upskilling and technology (ICT) and also improved industrial performance indicators. We also support our third hypothesis concerning the inconclusive relationships between new technology (the use of ICT) and input-output indicators at the micro/firm level. Finally, we provide a new contribution to the Sudanese literature, since we explain that the performance of the industrial firms is most probably immensely undermined by the shortage of skilled workers and also by the lack of entrepreneur perspective. We recommend further efforts to be made to improve adequate availability of skilled workers and commitment to entrepreneur perspective for improvement of labour productivity, industrial performance and therefore, economic growth and development in Sudan.

Keywords: Industrial performance, skill, technology, input-output, firm size, industry, Sudan

JEL classification: J24, L10, L20, L25, L60, O12, O15, O30.

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