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Does Migration Foster Exports? An African Perspective

  • Hélène Ehrhart
  • Maëlan Le Goff
  • Emmanuel Rocher
  • Raju Jan Singh

This paper assesses the impact of migration on export performances. In particular, it highlights and helps understand how African migrants foster African trade. Relying on a new dataset on international bilateral migration recently released by the World Bank spanning from 1980 to 2010, we estimate a gravity model that deals satisfactorily with heteroscedasticity, zero bilateral flows and endogeneity. Our results indicate that the African Diaspora has a positive effect on African exports, suggesting a substitution effect between migrants and institutions, with the existence of migrant networks compensating for weaker contract enforcement, for instance. This positive association seems to be particularly important for the exports of differentiated products. Focusing on intra-African trade, we find that the pro-trade effect of African migrants is more important when migrants are established in a non-neighboring country, and in African countries whose ethnic groups are different from their own.

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Paper provided by CEPII research center in its series Working Papers with number 2012-38.

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Date of creation: Dec 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2012-38
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