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Do African Countries Pay More for Imports? Yes

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  • Yeats, Alexander J

Abstract

The debt crisis and declining living standards require careful husbanding of critically scarce foreign exchange in most African countries. But economic theory suggests that smaller countries, which import from only a few international suppliers and cannot support competitive markets and infrastructure, would be likely to pay more rather than less for imports. Analysis of import unit values for 1962-87 shows that the twenty African former French colonies paid a price premium of 20-30 percent on average over other importers for iron and steel imports from France. The losses associated with these adverse prices totaled approximately 2 billion dollars by 1987. The study also finds that similar price premia (of 20-30 percent) were paid by former Belgian, British, and Portuguese colonies in Africa for imports of these products from their former rulers. Copyright 1990 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Yeats, Alexander J, 1990. "Do African Countries Pay More for Imports? Yes," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(1), pages 1-20, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:4:y:1990:i:1:p:1-20
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    Cited by:

    1. O'Connell, Stephen A. & Soludo, Charles C., 2001. "Aid Intensity in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(9), pages 1527-1552, September.
    2. Foroutan, Faezeh & Pritchett, Lant, 1993. "Intra-sub-Saharan African Trade: Is It Too Little?," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 2(1), pages 74-105, May.
    3. Langhammer, Rolf J. & Lücke, Matthias, 2000. "WTO negotiations and accession issues for vulnerable economies," Kiel Working Papers 990, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    4. Widodo, Tri, 2009. "Inter- and Intra-ASEAN Regional Trade," MPRA Paper 77990, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Ng, Francis & Yeats, Alexander, 1997. "Open economies work better! did Africa's protectionist policies cause its marginalization in world trade?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 889-904, June.
    6. Mathieu COUTTENIER & Raphael SOUBEYRAN, 2011. "Diplomatic Intervention in Civil War : Trade for All or Trade for One?," Working Papers 11-08, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Apr 2011.

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