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Political Instability and Export Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa

Author

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  • Augstin Kwasi Fosu

Abstract

The political landscape of post-independent sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has been one of rampant coups d'etat. Existing evidence suggests such elite political instability (PI) has been growth-inhibiting even when exports are accounted for. In the light of the increasing interest in the role of export-promotion strategies in fostering economic growth, however, the present paper examines the impact of PI on export performance in these economies. The paper explores the hypothesis that the lack of a stable political environment adversely influences export performance via competitiveness, and that PI may actually play a more crucial role in export than in overall GDP growth. Based on detailed data on the incidence of coups in 30 SSA countries, real export growth over 1967-1986 is regressed on a principal-component of the various forms of coup events - "successful" coups, abortive coups, and coup plots - as well as on export structure, terms of trade, production capacity, and exchange rate misalignment. The results support the above hypothesis of an adverse impact of PI on export growth, and further suggest that PI has been even more deleterious to exports than to overall GDP.

Suggested Citation

  • Augstin Kwasi Fosu, 2003. "Political Instability and Export Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(4), pages 68-83.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:39:y:2003:i:4:p:68-83
    DOI: 10.1080/713869426
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Therese F. Azeng & Thierry U. Yogo, 2015. "Youth Unemployment, Education and Political Instability: Evidence from Selected Developing Countries 1991-2009," HiCN Working Papers 200, Households in Conflict Network.
    2. Adugna Lemi & Sisay Asefa, 2009. "Differential Impacts of Economic Volatility and Governance on Manufacturing and Non-Manufacturing Foreign Direct Investments: The Case of US Multinationals in Africa," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 367-395.
    3. Longo, Robert & Sekkat, Khalid, 2004. "Economic Obstacles to Expanding Intra-African Trade," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1309-1321, August.
    4. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:6:y:2005:i:15:p:1-12 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Therese F. Azeng & Thierry Yogo Urbain, 2013. "Working Paper 171 - Youth Unemployment and Political Instability in Selected Developing Countries," Working Paper Series 467, African Development Bank.
    6. Njinkeu, Dominique & S. Wilson, John & Powo Fosso, Bruno, 2008. "Expanding Trade within Africa: The Impact of Trade Facilitation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4790, The World Bank.
    7. Andrew Mold and Annalisa Prizzon, 2010. "Fragile States, Commodity Booms And Export Performance: An Analysis Of The Sub-Saharan African Case," RSCAS Working Papers 2010/21, European University Institute.
    8. Bashir, Malik Fahim & Xu, Changsheng & Zaman, Khalid & Akhmat, Ghulam & Ikram, Muhammad, 2013. "Impact of foreign political instability on Chinese exports," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 802-807.
    9. Masino, Serena, 2012. "Macroeconomic instability and the incentive to innovate," MPRA Paper 38766, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Masino, Serena, 2013. "Macro-Institutional Instability and the Incentive to Innovate," MPRA Paper 45938, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Titus O. Awokuse & Conrado M. Gempesaw II, 2005. "Foreign political instability and U.S. agricultural exports: evidence from panel data," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 6(15), pages 1-12.
    12. Lubanda, J.- P. E. & Smutka, L. & Selby, R., 2016. "Agricultural Production and Trade Structure Profile in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)," AGRIS on-line Papers in Economics and Informatics, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Economics and Management, vol. 8(2), June.
    13. Sylvanus Kwaku Afesorgbor, 2016. "Economic Diplomacy in Africa: The Impact of Regional Integration versus Bilateral Diplomacy on Bilateral Trade," Economics Working Papers 2016-09, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    14. Augustin Kwasi Fosu, 2011. "Terms of Trade and Growth of Resource Economies: A Tale of Two Countries," CSAE Working Paper Series 2011-09, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    15. Masino, Serena, 2012. "Macroeconomic instability and the incentive to innovate," MPRA Paper 38830, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Augustin Kwasi Fosu, 2013. "Growth of African Economies: Productivity, Policy Syndromes and the Importance of Institutions," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 22(4), pages 523-551, August.
    17. Zelealem Yiheyis, 2006. "The Effects of Devaluation on Aggregate Output: Empirical Evidence from Africa," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(1), pages 21-45.
    18. Augustin Kwasi Fosu, 2013. "Growth of African Economies: Productivity, Policy Syndromes and the Importance of Institutions," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 22(4), pages 523-551, August.

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