Has ECOWAS Promoted Trade among Its Members?
This paper reports the results of an examination of the direction of trade within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The examination was conducted in order to determine whether ECOWAS is effective in enlarging trade among its members. Such an effect would indicate that the type of integration efforts that promote trade among industrial countries may also be applicable in less-developed regions. The paper provides an overview of ECOWAS and contains a description of recent directional trade patterns within the region using the trade intensity index (TII). That measure, in turn, is analysed using a spatial interaction model specified as a tobit regression. Our measure of TII indicates that trade flows within the region are strong when considered on a relative basis. However, a comparison of recent trade flows to earlier ones indicates that a very similar pattern of trade flows existed before ECOWAS was formed. Our primary finding, therefore, is that ECOWAS has not been effective in promoting trade among its members. Copyright 1998 by Oxford University Press.
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Volume (Year): 7 (1998)
Issue (Month): 3 (October)
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