Civil Conflicts and Regional Economic Integration Outcomes in Africa
Civil conflicts are a major challenge to the economic development of a country and its neighbors. The present article analyzes the consequences of conflicts on regional economic integration outcomes among African nations. Our findings document that civil conflicts affect the economic fate of regional economic communities through their negative substantial impact on business cycle synchronicity. Yet, contrary to the findings of previous studies on the effects of conflict on bilateral trade flows, we show that experiencing conflict increases regional trade intensities. This only holds in the short run and is explained by a decrease in the conflict country’s total trade and output, as well as by an increase in its intra-regional trade flows. By assessing the effect of conflict on regional economic integration processes, this paper highlights that intrastate political events are also a major regional constraint. We therefore find an additional reason to recommend that prevention and resolution of civil conflicts might be put on the top of the political agenda of African Regional Economic Communities.
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