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Economic growth and openness in Africa: What is the empirical relationship?


  • Ching-Cheng Chang
  • Michael Mendy


This study examines the effects of trade policies on economic growth in Africa. The econometric methodology follows the cross-country studies by Barro (1991) and Kandiero and Chitiga (2003) with empirical application to a panel of 36 African countries observed over the period 1980 to 2009. Panel regressions are carried out using the fixed-effects models. The aim is to provide an empirical evidence for the driving force of Africa's economic growth. The results illustrate that openness in trade and investment is positively related to economic growth significantly. However, foreign aid, gross national savings and investment have negative relationships to both Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth and GDP. Using South Africa as benchmark, the regional performance indicates that North Africa is the best one in generating positive GDP growth from Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), followed by Middle Africa whilst East Africa and West Africa compete for the third and fourth positions.

Suggested Citation

  • Ching-Cheng Chang & Michael Mendy, 2012. "Economic growth and openness in Africa: What is the empirical relationship?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(18), pages 1903-1907, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:19:y:2012:i:18:p:1903-1907 DOI: 10.1080/13504851.2012.676728

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Oyer, Paul, 2008. "Ability and employer learning: Evidence from the economist labor market," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 268-289, June.
    2. Peter Groothuis & James Richard Hill & Timothy Perri, 2009. "The dilemma of choosing talent: Michael Jordans are hard to find," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(25), pages 3193-3198.
    3. Paul Oyer, 2006. "Initial Labor Market Conditions and Long-Term Outcomes for Economists," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 143-160, Summer.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chirwa, Themba G. & Odhiambo, Nicholas M., 2016. "What Drives Long-Run Economic Growth? Empirical Evidence from South Africa," Economia Internazionale / International Economics, Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato Agricoltura di Genova, vol. 69(4), pages 429-456.
    2. Kumar, Ronald Ravinesh & Stauvermann, Peter Josef & Loganathan, Nanthakumar & Kumar, Radika Devi, 2015. "Exploring the role of energy, trade and financial development in explaining economic growth in South Africa: A revisit," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 1300-1311.
    3. repec:voj:journl:v:64:y:2017:i:3:p:297-314 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:vrs:seejeb:v:11:y:2016:i:2:p:33-47:n:3 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Abdilahi Ali & Katsushi S. Imai, 2015. "Editor's choice Crises, Economic Integration and Growth Collapses in African Countries," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 24(4), pages 471-501.
    6. Nahed Zghidi & Zouheir Abida, 2014. "Financial Development, Trade Openness and Economic Growth in North African Countries," Romanian Economic Journal, Department of International Business and Economics from the Academy of Economic Studies Bucharest, vol. 17(53), pages 91-120, September.
    7. repec:eee:wdevel:v:102:y:2018:i:c:p:243-261 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Eléazar Zerbo, 2015. "What determines the long-run growth in Sub-Saharan Africa? Exploring the role of energy, trade openness and financial development in six countries," Working Papers hal-01238524, HAL.

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