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Determinants Of Export Diversification And Sophistication In Sub-Saharan Africa

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  • Cabral, Manuel Heredia Caldeira
  • Veiga, Paula

Abstract

This paper studies the political and economic factors that determine successful export diversification (ED) and export sophistication (ES) strategies in the Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries and also the way in which successful ED and sophistication strategies contribute to explain the improving in some of the millennium development goals (MDG). We run separate regressions for the determinants of ES and ED, using disaggregated data of the 48 SSA countries, from 1960 to 2005. The results suggest that better governance is an important determinant for the success of diversification and sophistication strategies in SSA. In particular the level of corruption, transparency and accountability are important factors in limiting or promoting the scope of diversification and the level of sophistication of the exports. The results also suggest that increases in human capital in SSA countries promote both ED and ES, showing that the level of education of the workforce is positively related with ES and ED, with higher levels of education (tertiary) playing a more important role in explaining ES, while lower levels of education (primary) being more important as determinants of ED. In the second part we explore the links between ED and ES and growth presenting evidence that ED and ES are linked to growth stability in SSA. This study also suggests that the Sub-Saharan countries that were more successful in achieving ED and ES tend to be more successful in improving the living conditions of their population. Using different variables of Infant Mortality (one of the MDG) and life expectancy as dependent variables, we present evidence that suggests that in SSA higher ED and ES are associated with lower infant mortality and higher life expectancy. We show that this result is robust, presenting positive and significant results even when a large number of different control variables are introduced, or when fixed effects and instrumental variables are considered. The evidence suggests that ED and ES are part of the solution for a successful development of SSA. JEL codes:

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia in its series FEUNL Working Paper Series with number wp550.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:unl:unlfep:wp550

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  1. Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan & Bent E. Sørensen & Oved Yosha, 2003. "Risk Sharing and Industrial Specialization: Regional and International Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 903-918, June.
  2. Luca De Benedictis & Marco Gallegati & Massimo Tamberi, 2006. "Overall Specialization and Income: Countries Diversity," Working Papers 37-2006, Macerata University, Department of Finance and Economic Sciences, revised Oct 2008.
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Cited by:
  1. Jorge Braga de Macedo, 2012. "Cape Verde’s foreign policy: an economic perspective," FEUNL Working Paper Series wp572, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
  2. Jorge Braga de Macedo & Luís Brites Pereira, 2014. "Cape Verde and Mozambique as Development Successes in West and Southern Africa," NBER Chapters, in: African Successes: Sustainable Growth National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Alessia Amighini & Marco Sanfilippo, 2013. "Impact of South-South FDI and trade on the export upgrading of African economies," RSCAS Working Papers 2013/75, European University Institute.

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