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How Important Are Non-Tariff Barriers to Agricultural Trade within ECOWAS?


  • Seck, Abdoulaye

    () (Suffolk University & Universite Cheikh Anta Diop, Economics)

  • Cissokho, Lassana

    () (Suffolk University, Economics)

  • Makpayo, Kossi

    () (Suffolk University, Economics)

  • Haughton, Jonathan

    () (Suffolk University & Beacon Hill Institute, Economics)


It is widely believed that the countries of Africa trade relatively little with the outside world, and among themselves, despite an extensive network of regional trade agreements. We examine this proposition by focusing on agricultural trade. Specifically, we ask whether non-tariff barriers (NTBs) are stunting agricultural trade within ECOWAS, a grouping of 15 countries in West Africa that has removed tariffs on agricultural trade among its members. Our survey of truckers in Tambacounda (Senegal) in August 2009 found evidence of extensive bribery by police and border officials, effectively representing a barrier to trading.

Suggested Citation

  • Seck, Abdoulaye & Cissokho, Lassana & Makpayo, Kossi & Haughton, Jonathan, 2010. "How Important Are Non-Tariff Barriers to Agricultural Trade within ECOWAS?," Working Papers 2010-3, Suffolk University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:suf:wpaper:2010-3

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jacob Wanjala Musila, 2005. "The Intensity of Trade Creation and Trade Diversion in COMESA, ECCAS and ECOWAS: A Comparative Analysis," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 14(1), pages 117-141, March.
    2. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
    3. Anderson, Kym & Kurzweil, Marianne & Martin, Will & Sandri, Damiano & Valenzuela, Ernesto, 2008. "Measuring distortions to agricultural incentives, revisited," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(04), pages 675-704, October.
    4. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-959, December.
    5. Masahiro Endoh, 1999. "Trade creation and trade diversion in the EEC, the LAFTA and the CMEA: 1960-1994," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(2), pages 207-216.
    6. Hanink, Dean M & Owusu, J Henry, 1998. "Has ECOWAS Promoted Trade among Its Members?," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 7(3), pages 363-383, October.
    8. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2007. "Do free trade agreements actually increase members' international trade?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 72-95, March.
    9. Soloaga, Isidro & Winters, L. Alan, 1999. "How has regionalism in the 1990s affected trade?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2156, The World Bank.
    10. Supee Teravaninthorn & Gaël Raballand, 2009. "Transport Prices and Costs in Africa : A Review of the International Corridors," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6610.
    11. Anderson, James E, 1979. "A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 106-116, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Vitor Joao Pereira Domingues Martinho, 2012. "International trade of fruits between Portugal and the world," Papers 1206.3385,
    2. Douillet, Mathilde, 2012. "Trade policies and agricultural exports of Sub-Saharan African countries: Some stylized facts and perspectives," MPRA Paper 40962, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Non-tariff barriers; ECOWAS; gravity model; regional trade agreements; Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa
    • O24 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Trade Policy; Factor Movement; Foreign Exchange Policy

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