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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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Paper provided by HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 02-05.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: May 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iea:carech:0205
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  1. Richard Baldwin & Paul R. Krugman, 1986. "Persistent Trade Effects of Large Exchage Rate Shocks," NBER Working Papers 2017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alcala, Francisco & Ciccone, Antonio, 2001. "Trade and Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3095, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Baldwin, Richard, 1988. "Hyteresis in Import Prices: The Beachhead Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 773-85, September.
  7. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Entry and Exit Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 620-38, June.
  8. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521314275 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
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