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Rethinking Trade Preferences: How Africa Can Diversify its Exports

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  • Paul Collier
  • Anthony J. Venables

Abstract

This paper argues that the contribution of trade preferences to economic development needs to be reappraised in light of the growth of globalised trade in manufactures. Trade preferences may be able to act as a catalyst for manufacturing exports, leading to rapid growth in exports and employment. To do so, preferences need to be designed to be consistent with international trade in fragmented 'tasks' (as opposed to complete products) and need to be open to countries with sufficient levels of complementary inputs such as skills and infrastructure. Recent experience with the African Growth and Opportunities Act shows that, in the right conditions, Sub-Saharan African countries have had large manufacturing export supply response to trade preferences. Copyright 2007 The Authors Journal compilation Blackwell Publishing Ltd .

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Collier & Anthony J. Venables, 2007. "Rethinking Trade Preferences: How Africa Can Diversify its Exports," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(8), pages 1326-1345, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:30:y:2007:i:8:p:1326-1345
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006. "The rise of offshoring: it's not wine for cloth anymore," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 59-102.
    2. Olivier Cadot & Jaime de Melo, 2015. "Why OECD Countries Should Reform Rules of Origin," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Developing Countries in the World Economy, chapter 16, pages 381-409 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    3. Low, Patrick & Piermartini, Roberta & Richtering, Jurgen, 2005. "Multilateral solutions to the erosion of non-reciprocal preferences in NAMA," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2005-05, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
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    8. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony J., 2007. "Interacting factor endowments and trade costs: A multi-country, multi-good approach to trade theory," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 333-354, November.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology

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