Fragile States, Commodity Booms And Export Performance: An Analysis Of The Sub-Saharan African Case
Sub-Saharan Africa's export performance over recent decades has typically been por-trayed as poor compared to other regions in developing countries. This paper takes a new look at the record, using data on the volume rather than the value of African ex-ports. When analysed in volume terms a different picture of African export performance emerges. Despite being confronted by sharply declining prices, between 1995-2001 Afri-can exports expanded by an average of 5.9 percent annually. The picture changes quite significantly during the post-2002 commodity price boom period, with increases of 5.2 per cent per annum in average volumes. By using a dynamic panel of 36 Sub-Saharan countries, the aim of this paper is to analyse this apparent paradox, using data available from UNCTAD. Specifically, we investigate the price-elasticity response of African ex-porters in the light of dramatically shifting unit prices. In the context of the EDR project, we also specifically look at the question of whether countries classified as ´fragile states´ have been especially disadvantaged in terms of their export performance.
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