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Economic Geography and Economic Development in Sub-Saharan Africa

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  • Maarten Bosker
  • Harry Garretsen

Abstract

Sub-Saharan Africa's (SSA) physical geography is often blamed for its poor economic performance. A country's geographical location does, however, not only determine its agricultural conditions or disease environment. It also pins down a country's relative position vis-a-vis other countries, affecting its ease of access to foreign markets. This paper assesses the importance of market access for manufactures in explaining the observed income differences between SSA countries over the period 1993-2009. We construct yearly, theory-based measures of each SSA country's market access using the information contained in bilateral manufacturing trade flows. Using these measures, we find a robust positive effect of market access on economic development that has increased in importance during the last decade. Interestingly, when further unraveling this finding, access to other SSA markets in particular turns out to be important. Copyright 2012, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Maarten Bosker & Harry Garretsen, 2012. "Economic Geography and Economic Development in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 26(3), pages 443-485.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:26:y:2012:i:3:p:443-485
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    Cited by:

    1. Sylvanus Kwaku Afesorgbor & Kaleb Girma Abreha, 2015. "Preferential Market Access, Foreign Aid and Economic Development," Economics Working Papers 2015-04, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    2. Nga Thi Viet Nguyen & Felipe F. Dizon, 2017. "The Geography of Welfare in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, and Togo," World Bank Other Operational Studies 27994, The World Bank.
    3. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2011. "Gravity, market potential and development," Post-Print hal-01024209, HAL.
    4. Breinlich, Holger & Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P. & Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2014. "Regional Growth and Regional Decline," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 4, pages 683-779 Elsevier.
    5. Buzasi, Katalin, 2012. "Does colonialism have an impact on the current language situation in Sub-Saharan Africa?," MPRA Paper 42791, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. L. DeBenedictis & AM. Pinna, 2015. "Islands as 'Bad Geography'. Insularity, Connectedness, Trade Costs and Trade," Working Paper CRENoS 201504, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    7. Wim Naudé, 2016. "Entrepreneurship and the Reallocation of African Farmers," Agrekon, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(1-2), pages 1-33, June.
    8. PHOLO Alain & TENIKUE Michel & NAFARI Baraka, 2017. "Market Potential, Agglomeration Effects and the Location of French Firms in Africa," LISER Working Paper Series 2017-19, LISER.
    9. Marchiori, Luca & Maystadt, Jean-François & Schumacher, Ingmar, 2012. "The impact of weather anomalies on migration in sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 355-374.
    10. Hamaguchi, Nobuaki, 2011. "Evidence from Spatial Correlation of Poverty and Income in Kenya," Working Papers 35, JICA Research Institute.
    11. Ramesh C Paudel, 2014. "Export performance in developing countries: A comparative perspective," Departmental Working Papers 2014-26, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
    12. World Bank Group, "undated". "Africa's Pulse, No. 14, October 2016," World Bank Other Operational Studies 25097, The World Bank.
    13. Aparajita Goyal & John Nash, 2016. "Reaping Richer Returns, Preliminary Overview," World Bank Other Operational Studies 25782, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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