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The empire strikes back: French‐African trade after independence


  • Emmanuelle Lavallée
  • Julie Lochard


This paper studies the effects of foreign influence on trade, focusing on the close relations between France and its former colonies in sub‐Saharan Africa (SSA). It shows that between 1960 and 1989—the golden age of French‐African relations—France exported more to its former SSA colonies than to any comparable countries, while they did not export more to France. This excess of French exports concerned a large variety of products, and particularly luxury goods and products in which France was least competitive. An investigation of the underlying mechanisms shows that migration explains most of this additional trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Emmanuelle Lavallée & Julie Lochard, 2019. "The empire strikes back: French‐African trade after independence," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(1), pages 390-412, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:27:y:2019:i:1:p:390-412

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