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Competitiveness in the CFA Franc Zone

  • Charalambos G. Tsangarides
  • Gustavo Ramirez

This paper reviews the evolution of competitiveness in the CFA franc zone using a proposed comprehensive competitiveness framework. In particular, we examine competitiveness in the WAEMU and CEMAC regions by analyzing the "environment" and "policy" components of competitiveness and their quantifiable determinants, including indicators to measure productivity and labor market conditions, prices and costs, macroeconomic performance, business environment, governance, and technology and infrastructure. Our findings suggest that despite some recent improvements-particularly for the CEMAC-both regions face serious competitiveness challenges when compared to pier groups of countries. In order to become more competitive, raise growth, and improve the quality of life, there is a need for structural reform to improve productivity, reduce factor costs, and create the right business, legal, and political environment to attract economic activity.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 07/212.

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Length: 40
Date of creation: 01 Aug 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:07/212
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  1. Luca Buldorini & Stelios Makrydakis & Christian Thimann, 2002. "The effective exchange rates of the euro," Occasional Paper Series 02, European Central Bank.
  2. Cockburn, J. & Siggel, E. & Coulibaly, M. & Vezina, S., 1998. "Measuring Competitiveness and Its Sources: The Case of Mali's Manufacturing Sector," Equity and Growth through Economic Research 16, EAGER Publication/BHM.
  3. Leslie Lipschitz & Donogh McDonald, 1991. "Real Exchange Rates and Competitiveness; A Clarification of Concepts, and Some Measurements for Europe," IMF Working Papers 91/25, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Johansen, Soren, 1995. "Likelihood-Based Inference in Cointegrated Vector Autoregressive Models," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198774501, March.
  5. Hinkle, Lawrence E. & Monteil, Peter J. (ed.), 1999. "Exchange Rate Misalignment: Concepts and Measurement for Developing Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195211269, March.
  6. Paul Cashin & Luis Felipe Céspedes & Ratna Sahay, 2003. "Commodity Currencies and the Real Exchange Rate," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 236, Central Bank of Chile.
  7. Ian W. Marsh & Stephen Tokarick, 1994. "Competitiveness Indicators; A Theoretical and Empirical Assessment," IMF Working Papers 94/29, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Ernesto Hernández-Catá & C. A. François, 1998. "The West African Economic and Monetary Union; Recent Developments and Policy Issues," IMF Occasional Papers 170, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Yasser Abdih & Charalambos Tsangarides, 2010. "FEER for the CFA franc," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(16), pages 2009-2029.
  10. Dominique Desruelle & Alessandro Zanello, 1997. "A Primeron the IMF's Information Notice System," IMF Working Papers 97/71, International Monetary Fund.
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