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Global Trade Models and Economic Policy Analyses: Relevance, Risks and Repercussions for Africa


  • Ben Hammouda, Hakim
  • Osakwe, Patrick N.


Computable general equilibrium (CGE) models are widely used for trade policy analyses and recommendations. Simulation results from these models have also been used as a basis for offering advice to African countries on what positions to take in multilateral trade negotiations. There is however increasing discomfort with the use of these models for policy recommendations, especially in Africa. In this paper we compare the results of several CGE studies that examined the impact of potential Doha Round reforms on Africa and demonstrate that the results differ drastically both in terms of magnitude and direction. Part of the discrepancies in results can be explained by differences in database, model structure, and choice of parameters. Others are, however, difficult to explain because several studies either do not report key assumptions made or do not provide a clear description of how their framework differs from those in the literature. We also show that the modelling approach and the database used in most CGE studies do not take account of key features of African economies that have serious implications for the impact of trade reforms on Africa. Finally, we outline potential consequences of the misuse of CGE models for policy evaluation and suggest pitfalls to avoid if CGE model results are to be taken seriously by policy makers in Africa.

Suggested Citation

  • Ben Hammouda, Hakim & Osakwe, Patrick N., 2006. "Global Trade Models and Economic Policy Analyses: Relevance, Risks and Repercussions for Africa," MPRA Paper 1851, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:1851

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Cernat, Lucian & Onguglo, Bonapas, 2008. "RTAs and WTO Compatibility: Catch Me If You Can? The Case of EPA Negotiations," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 23, pages 489-517.
    2. Vaqar Ahmed & Cathal O'Donoghue, 2010. "External Shocks in a Small Open Economy: A CGE - Microsimulation Analysis," Lahore Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, The Lahore School of Economics, vol. 15(1), pages 45-90, Jan-Jun.

    More about this item


    Trade Reforms; CGE Models; Doha Round; Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade

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