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South-South Trade: Geography Matters

Listed author(s):
  • Souleymane Coulibaly

    ()

    (DEEP-HEC - HEC Lausanne - UNIL - Université de Lausanne)

  • Lionel Fontagné

    ()

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CEPII - Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales - Centre d'analyse stratégique)

Intra-subsaharan African trade appears to be very limited, an outcome that is often justified on the grounds of the size of the exporting and the importing economies. If that were the explanation, there would be no untapped trade potential. We argue instead that the main determinant of this ‘missing trade' is geography. Being landlocked (and poor) translates into very high trade costs. In this paper, we try to measure the impact of geographical impediments on South–South trade. We focus on the intra and extra regional trade of the countries belonging to the West African Economic and Monetary Union, which have been involved in an integration process since the early days of their independence. We derive and estimate an Armington-based model highlighting the impact of geography and infrastructures on bilateral trade flows within this region.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) with number hal-00270506.

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Length:
Date of creation: 2006
Publication status: Published in Journal of African Economies / Journal of African Economics, 2006, 15 (2), pp.313-341. 〈10.1093/jae/eji030〉
Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:hal-00270506
DOI: 10.1093/jae/eji030
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00270506
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/

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  1. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2000. "Non-Europe: The magnitude and causes of market fragmentation in the EU," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 136(2), pages 284-314, June.
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  5. Greenaway, David & Milner, Chris R, 1990. "South-South Trade: Theory, Evidence, Policy," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 5(1), pages 47-68, January.
  6. J. Vernon Henderson, Zmarak Shalizi, and Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "Geography and development," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 81-105, January.
  7. Lionel Fontagné & Michaël Freudenberg & Nicolas Peridy, 1997. "Trade Patterns Inside the Single Market," Working Papers 1997-07, CEPII research center.
  8. Lionel Fontagné & Michaël Pajot & Jean-Michel Pasteels, 2002. "Potentiels de commerce entre économies hétérogènes : un petit mode d’emploi des modèles de gravité," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 152(1), pages 115-139.
  9. Havrylyshyn, Oli, 1985. "The direction of developing country trade : Empirical evidence of differences between South-South and South-North trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 255-281, December.
  10. Foroutan, Faezeh & Pritchett, Lant, 1993. "Intra-sub-Saharan African Trade: Is It Too Little?," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 2(1), pages 74-105, May.
  11. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2001. "Tropical Underdevelopment," NBER Working Papers 8119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Limao, Nuno & Venables, Anthony J., 1999. "Infrastructure, geographical disadvantage, and transport costs," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2257, The World Bank.
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