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The Significance of Transport Costs in Africa

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Author Info

  • Naude, Wim
  • Matthee, Marianne

Abstract

The success of Africa's exports, as well as its spatial development, depends on lowering transport costs. In this Policy Brief, we address a number of pertinent questions on transport costs in Africa, such as 'what are transport costs?', 'do transport costs matter for trade?', 'how important are transport costs in practice?', and 'why are Africa's transport costs so high?' We present a case study of the firm location decisions of exporters in South Africa to illustrate the significance in particular of domestic transport costs for manufactured exports. The message from this Policy Brief is that Africa's international transport costs are significantly higher than that of other regions, and its domestic transport costs could be just as significant. Moreover we show how domestic transport costs influence the location, the quantity, and the diversity of manufactured exports. Various policy options to reduce transport costs in Africa are discussed.

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File URL: http://www.wider.unu.edu/stc/repec/pdfs/rp2007/pb05-2007.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER) in its series Working Paper Series with number UNU-WIDER Research Paper UNUPB5/2007.

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Length: 8 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:unupb5-2007

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Keywords: transport; costs; trade; Africa; infrastructure; roads; rail; ports; harbour; South Africa; goods; location; freight;

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Cited by:
  1. Wim Naudé, 2010. "Africa And The Global Economic Crisis: A Risk Assessment And Action Guide," RSCAS Working Papers 2010/27, European University Institute.
  2. Wim Naudé & Marianne Matthee, 2011. "The impact of transport costs on new venture internationalisation," Journal of International Entrepreneurship, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 62-89, March.
  3. Naudé, Wim & Matthee, Marianne, 2012. "Do Export Costs Matter in Determining Whether, When, and How Much African Firms Export?," Working Papers 38, JICA Research Institute.
  4. Pamela Coke Hamilton & Yvonne Tsikata & Emmanuel Pinto Moreira, 2009. "Accelerating Trade and Integration in the Caribbean : Policy Options for Sustained Growth, Job Creation, and Poverty Reduction," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2652, August.
  5. Pearson, Joseph & Viviers, Wilma & Cuyvers, Ludo & Naudé, Wim, 2010. "Identifying export opportunities for South Africa in the southern engines: A DSM approach," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 345-359, August.
  6. Schürenberg-Frosch, Hannah, 2012. "Determinants of transport costs: Are they uniform across countries?," Economics Discussion Papers 2012-54, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

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