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Distance to market and sub-Saharan African exports
African Development Review (2010)
  • Alberto Behar, University of Oxford
  • Phil Manners
A typical person in sub-Saharan Africa is a long way from world markets. Moreover, they are further from world markets now than they were in 1980 due to shifts in the location of world production. This partly reflects slower growth within Africa than for the world as a whole. Yet despite slower growth in Africa, African exports have become increasingly regionalized. By 2005, a country in sub-Saharan Africa typically exported twice as much to a country in their own region as would be expected based on economic size and bilateral distance. This regionalisation was not present in the early 1980s and has become stronger over time. We find evidence of positive neighbourhood effects through exports. Using country-pair fixed effects in a gravity equation we estimate that, for a typical country pair, one per cent trading partner growth increases bilateral exports to that country by about 0.8 per cent. We find evidence that sub-Saharan countries may benefit less from growth in their own region than this typical relationship suggests. Growth in the sub-Saharan region would also likely have very different impacts on each country within the region. For some countries, 10 per cent growth in sub-Saharan Africa would likely increase exports by 2 to 4 per cent. For other countries the impact of growth in the region would be negligible.
  • gravity models,
  • exports
Publication Date
Citation Information
Alberto Behar and Phil Manners. "Distance to market and sub-Saharan African exports" African Development Review (2010)
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