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The Vulnerability of Sub-Saharan Africa to Financial Crises: The Case of Trade

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  • Nicolas Berman
  • Philippe Martin

Abstract

Motivated by the 2008–09 financial crisis and the trade collapse, the paper analyzes the effect of past banking crises (1976–2002) on trade with a focus on African exporters. The paper shows that they are particularly vulnerable to a banking crisis in the countries they export to. It also distinguishes between an income effect (during a banking crisis, income and exports to the country fall) and a disruption effect (a banking crisis disrupts the financing of trade channels). For the average country, the disruption effect is moderate (a deviation from the gravity predicted trade of between 1 and 5 percent). The paper finds however that the disruption effect is much larger and long-lasting for African exporters as the fall in trade (relative to gravity) is 10 to 15 percentage points higher than for other countries in the aftermath of a banking crisis. This vulnerability of African exports in the short run does not come from a composition effect, that is, from the fact that primary exports are disrupted more severely than manufacturing exports. Instead, the paper provides suggestive evidence that the dependence of African countries upon trade finance is an important determinant of their vulnerability to banking crises in partner countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicolas Berman & Philippe Martin, 2012. "The Vulnerability of Sub-Saharan Africa to Financial Crises: The Case of Trade," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 60(3), pages 329-364, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:imfecr:v:60:y:2012:i:3:p:329-364
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    Cited by:

    1. Sara Bertin & Steve Ohana & Vanessa Strauss-Kahn, 2016. "Revisiting the Link Between Political and Financial Crises in Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 25(3), pages 323-366.
    2. Youssouf KIENDREBEOGO, 2013. "How Do Banking Crises Affect Bilateral Exports?," Working Papers 201313, CERDI.
    3. Schmidt-Eisenlohr, Tim, 2013. "Towards a theory of trade finance," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 96-112.
    4. Zuzana Brixiova & Qingwei Meng & Mthuli Ncube, 2015. "Can Intra-Regional Trade Act as a Global Shock Absorber in Africa?," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 16(3), pages 141-162, July.
    5. Nicolas Berman & José de Sousa & Philippe Martin & Thierry Mayer, 2013. "Time to Ship during Financial Crises," NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 225-260.
    6. Nakhoda, Aadil, 2012. "The influence of industry financial composition on export flow: A case study of a developing financial market," MPRA Paper 43792, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. A. Berthou & G. Horny & J-S. Mésonnier, 2018. "Dollar Funding and Firm-Level Exports," Working papers 666, Banque de France.
    8. Chen, Natalie & Juvenal, Luciana, 2015. "Quality and the Great Trade Collapse," Working Papers 231147, American Association of Wine Economists.
    9. Rahul Anand & Roberto Perrelli & Boyang Zhang, 2016. "South Africa’s Exports Performance; Any Role for Structural Factors?," IMF Working Papers 16/24, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Aadil Nakhoda, 2014. "The Influence of Industry Financial Composition on the Exports from Pakistan," SBP Research Bulletin, State Bank of Pakistan, Research Department, vol. 10, pages 21-49.
    11. Mthuli Ncube & Zuzana Brixiova & Meng Qingwei, 2014. "Working Paper 198 - Can Intra-Regional Trade Act as a Global Shock Absorber in Africa?," Working Paper Series 2104, African Development Bank.
    12. Mohamed Ben Abdallah & Zouheir Bouchaddakh, 2013. "Banking and Monetary Crises: Impacts on Exports of MENA Countries," Working Papers 786, Economic Research Forum, revised Oct 2013.
    13. Addison, Tony & Singhal, Saurabh & Tarp, Finn, 2013. "Aid to Africa: The Changing Context," WIDER Working Paper Series 144, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    14. Sotiris Blanas & Adnan Seric, 2017. "Determinants of Intra-Firm Trade," Working Papers 178118175, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    15. Ho, Sin-Yu, 2016. "Global Economic and Financial Crisis: Exploring the Transmission Channels and Impacts on sub-Saharan African Economies," MPRA Paper 75658, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Kent Matthews, 2014. "Cost Inefficiency in the Pakistan Banking Sector 2002-2009," SBP Research Bulletin, State Bank of Pakistan, Research Department, vol. 10, pages 1-20.
    17. Jinjarak, Yothin, 2013. "Supply Chains and Credit-Market Shocks: Some Implications for Emerging Markets," ADBI Working Papers 443, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    18. Duygun, Meryem & Isaksson, Anders & Kaulich, Florian, 2016. "Did the global financial crisis hit Africa? Insights from a multi-country firm level survey," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 308-316.
    19. Independent Evaluation Group, 2013. "Evaluation of the International Finance Corporation's Global Trade Finance Program, 2006-12," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15769, April.
    20. Giscard Assoumou Ella, 2013. "Impact of international income, prices and monetary shocks on real exchange rate in eight African economies: An empirical study," The Empirical Econometrics and Quantitative Economics Letters, Faculty of Economics, Chiang Mai University, vol. 2(3), pages 41-54, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises

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