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Does China's trade expansion help African development? — an empirical estimation


  • He, Yong


This paper uses Comtrade panel data to assess the impacts of imports from China, in comparison with those from the United States and France, on Sub-Saharan African manufactured exports (as proxies of production performance). It is found that Chinese impacts are significantly positive in all sectors and in general Chinese impacts are stronger than those of the United States and France. A South–South trade theoretical framework is then explored to interpret this finding: When the absorptive capability of a poorly-developed country is quite limited and (or) a sizeable substitution effect of importing intermediate goods on this country's local production is present, it is better to import from a Southern country with a superior technology than from a Northern country with a very advanced technology. Therefore, my finding has provided evidence that China's increasing trade with Africa is helpful to African economic development.

Suggested Citation

  • He, Yong, 2013. "Does China's trade expansion help African development? — an empirical estimation," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 28-38.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:26:y:2013:i:c:p:28-38
    DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2013.04.001

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dramane Coulibaly & Blaise Gnimassoun & Valérie Mignon, 2016. "Growth-enhancing effect of openness to trade and migrations: What is the effective transmission channel for Africa?," EconomiX Working Papers 2016-39, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    2. repec:eee:chieco:v:46:y:2017:i:c:p:180-207 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Simplice Asongu & John Ssozi, 2016. "Sino-African Relations: Some Solutions and Strategies to the Policy Syndromes," Journal of African Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 33-51, January.
    4. Larry D. Qiu & Chaoqun Zhan, 2016. "Special Section: China's Growing Trade and its Role to the World Economy," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 45-71, February.
    5. Dinkneh Gebre Borojo & Yushi Jiang, 2016. "The Impact of Africa-China Trade Openness on Technology Transfer and Economic Growth for Africa: A Dynamic Panel Data Approach," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 17(2), pages 403-431, November.
    6. Lionel Fontagné & Gianluca Santoni, 2016. "Agglomeration Economies and Firm Level Labor Misallocation," Working Papers 2016-24, CEPII research center.
    7. repec:eee:wdevel:v:102:y:2018:i:c:p:243-261 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:eee:ememar:v:33:y:2017:i:c:p:1-18 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Broich, Tobias, 2017. "Do authoritarian regimes receive more Chinese development finance than democratic ones? Empirical evidence for Africa," MERIT Working Papers 011, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

    More about this item


    Impact of Chinese exports on Africa; Technology spillovers; Intermediate goods effect; Substitution effect; South–South trade model;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes


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