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The Impact of Trade Liberalisation on Enterprises in Small Backward Economies: The Case of Chad and Gabon


  • Giorgio Barba Navaretti

    (University of Milano and Centro Studi Luca d’Agliano)

  • Ricardo Faini

    (University of Milano and Centro Studi Luca d’Agliano)

  • Bernard Gauthier

    () (IEA, HEC Montréal)


This paper examines the impact of the devaluation of the CFA franc in 1994 and of trade and fiscal reforms on enterprise development in Chad and Gabon. These reforms provide a natural experiment to assess the impact of trade liberalisation in countries with a small and backward manufacturing sector. The empirical analysis is based on a new panel data base covering almost the total population of manufacturing firms in Chad and Gabon, and containing data spanning from the year before to two years after t he reforms. The paper finds that although firms’ response to changing incentives was non-negligible, with a shift of output from non tradables to tradables and an increase in productivity, the reform process was unable to generate a virtuous and self-sustained circle, where export expansion brings a generalized productivity increase which in turn feeds on further export growth.

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  • Giorgio Barba Navaretti & Ricardo Faini & Bernard Gauthier, 2002. "The Impact of Trade Liberalisation on Enterprises in Small Backward Economies: The Case of Chad and Gabon," Cahiers de recherche 02-05, HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée.
  • Handle: RePEc:iea:carech:0205

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Devarajan, Shantayanan & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Do the benefits of fixed exchange rates outweigh their costs? The Franc Zone in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 777, The World Bank.
    2. Francisco Alcalá & Antonio Ciccone, 2004. "Trade and Productivity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(2), pages 613-646.
    3. Richard Baldwin & Paul Krugman, 1989. "Persistent Trade Effects of Large Exchange Rate Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(4), pages 635-654.
    4. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Entry and Exit Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 620-638, June.
    5. Devarajan, Shantayanan & de Melo, Jaime, 1990. "Membership in the CFA zone : Odyssean journey or Trojan horse?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 482, The World Bank.
    6. Chambers,Robert G., 1988. "Applied Production Analysis," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521314275, March.
    7. Baldwin, Richard, 1988. "Hyteresis in Import Prices: The Beachhead Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 773-785, September.
    8. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    9. Bernard Gauthier & Isidro Soloaga & James Tybout, 2002. "A Firm's-Eye View of Commercial Policy and Fiscal Reforms in Cameroon," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 16(3), pages 449-472, December.
    10. Devarajan, Shantayanan & de Melo, Jaime, 1987. "Evaluating participation in African monetary unions: A statistical analysis of the CFA Zones," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 483-496, April.
    11. Tybout, James, et al, 1997. "Firm-Level Responses to the CFA Devaluation in Cameroon," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 6(1), pages 3-34, March.
    12. repec:mes:challe:v:31:y:1988:i:4:p:56-58 is not listed on IDEAS
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    trade liberalization; enterprise development; output; productivity and export performance;

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations

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