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The rise and fall of (Chinese) African apparel exports

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  • Rotunno, Lorenzo
  • Vézina, Pierre-Louis
  • Wang, Zheng

Abstract

During the final years of the Multifiber Agreement (2001–2005) the US imposed quotas on Chinese apparel while it gave African apparel duty- and quota-free access. We argue that the combination of these policies led to a rapid but ephemeral rise of African exports that can be explained in part by ethnic-Chinese firms using Africa as a quota-hopping export platform. We first provide a large body of anecdotal evidence on the ethnic-Chinese apparel wave in Africa. Second, we show that Chinese exports to Africa predict US imports from the same countries and in the same apparel categories but only where transhipment incentives are present, i.e. for products facing US quotas and in countries with preferential access to the US unconstrained by rules of origin. Our estimates indicate that direct transhipment may account for around 22% of Africa's apparel exports during 2001–2008.

Suggested Citation

  • Rotunno, Lorenzo & Vézina, Pierre-Louis & Wang, Zheng, 2013. "The rise and fall of (Chinese) African apparel exports," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 152-163.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:105:y:2013:i:c:p:152-163
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2013.08.001
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    Cited by:

    1. Hu, Cui & Tan, Yong, 2017. "Learning to Import From Neighbors," MPRA Paper 78108, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Céline Carrère & Christopher Grigoriou, 2014. "Can Mirror Data Help To Capture Informal International Trade?," UNCTAD Blue Series Papers 65, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
    3. Adam Storeygard, 2016. "Farther on down the Road: Transport Costs, Trade and Urban Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(3), pages 1263-1295.
    4. Alan Gelb & Christian Meyer & Vijaya Ramachandran, 2013. "Does Poor Mean Cheap? A Comparative Look at Africa's Industrial Labor Costs," Working Papers 325, Center for Global Development.
    5. Pierre-Louis Vézina, 2015. "Illegal trade in natural resources: Evidence from missing exports," International Economics, CEPII research center, issue 142, pages 152-160.
    6. Guive Khan Mohammad, 2014. "The Chinese Presence in Burkina Faso: A Sino-African Cooperation from Below," Journal of Current Chinese Affairs - China aktuell, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 43(1), pages 71-101.
    7. Wenjie Chen & David Dollar & Heiwai Tang, 2016. "Why is China Investing in Africa? Evidence from the Firm Level," CESifo Working Paper Series 5940, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Azmeh, Shamel, 2015. "Transient global value chains and preferential trade agreements: rules of origin in US trade agreements with Jordan and Egypt," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 64601, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Tan, Yong, 2016. "The Impact of Demand Shocks on Firm-Level Offshoring Behavior: Theory and Evidence," MPRA Paper 73734, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. repec:oxf:wpaper:oxcarre-research-paper-139 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:bla:growch:v:48:y:2017:i:3:p:390-408 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Daqing Yao & John Whalley, 2016. "Global Service Efficiency and the Role of Special and Differential Based Negotiation," NBER Working Papers 22362, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Tan, Yong & Shao, Yuchen, 2016. "The Impact of Demand Shocks on Firm-Level Offshoring Behavior: Theory and Evidence," MPRA Paper 68728, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Facundo Albornoz & Irene Brambilla & Pablo Garriga, 2016. "Exports of Argentina and Brazil under the Generalized System of Preferences," Ensayos Económicos, Central Bank of Argentina, Economic Research Department, vol. 1(74), pages 27-55, December.
    15. Shamel Azmeh, 2015. "Transient global value chains and preferential trade agreements: rules of origin in US trade agreements with Jordan and Egypt," Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Cambridge Political Economy Society, vol. 8(3), pages 475-490.
    16. Cooke, Edgar F. A., 2012. "Is the impact of AGOA heterogeneous?," MPRA Paper 43277, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Transhipment; AGOA; Multifiber agreement;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations

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