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Have transport costs contributed to the relative decline of sub-Saharan African exports? Some preliminary empirical evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Amjadi, Azita
  • Yeats, Alexander J.

Abstract

From the mid-1950s to 1990, sub-Saharan Africa's share of global exports fell from 3.1 to under 1.2 percent, a decline that implies associated export earning losses of about $65 billion annually. Previous studies show that foreign trade barriers do not account for this poor performance. Indeed, African exports enjoy OECD tariff preferences. In the sub-Saharan African countries, too high a proportion of foreign exchange earnings is paying for Africa's high export transport costs. The authors demonstrate that relatively high transportation costs - especially for processed products - often place African exporters at a serious competitive disadvantage. African countries must use a far larger share of their foreign exchange earnings to pay for international transport services than other developing countries do - and the relative importance of those payments has been increasing. Why are Africa's transport costs so high? Ill-advised policies on the part of some African governments seem to have played a role, as their cargo reservation policies produced high"rents"for lines that have been shielded from the effects of competition. The failure to maintain or improve port and transport infrastructure has also played a role.

Suggested Citation

  • Amjadi, Azita & Yeats, Alexander J., 1995. "Have transport costs contributed to the relative decline of sub-Saharan African exports? Some preliminary empirical evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1559, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1559
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bela Balassa, 1965. "Tariff Protection in Industrial Countries: An Evaluation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73, pages 573-573.
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    3. Waters, W G, II, 1970. "Transport Costs, Tariffs, and the Pattern of Industrial Protection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(5), pages 1013-1020, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Guillaume Daudin, 2003. "La logistique de la mondialisation," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 87(4), pages 409-435.
    2. Buys, Piet & Deichmann, Uwe & Wheeler, David, 2006. "Road network upgrading and overland trade expansion in Sub-Saharan Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4097, The World Bank.
    3. Clark, Ximena & Dollar, David & Micco, Alejandro, 2004. "Port efficiency, maritime transport costs, and bilateral trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 417-450, December.
    4. Berthelemy, Jean-claude & Soderling, Ludvig, 2001. "The Role of Capital Accumulation, Adjustment and Structural Change for Economic Take-Off: Empirical Evidence from African Growth Episodes," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 323-343, February.
    5. Lawrence Edwards & Neil Rankin, 2016. "Is Africa integrating? Evidence from product markets," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(2), pages 266-289, March.
    6. Nlemfu Mukoko, Jean Blaise & Wabenga Yango, James, 2011. "Zone de libre échange de la sadc et économie de la RDCongo :Création de commerce et Bien-être?
      [Implications of joining the SADC Free Trade Agreement on the D.R.Congo economy]
      ," MPRA Paper 65050, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jun 2015.
    7. Bresnahan, Lauren & Coxhead, Ian & Foltz, Jeremy & Mogues, Tewodaj, 2016. "Does Freer Trade Really Lead to Productivity Growth? Evidence from Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 18-29.
    8. Malik, Adeel & Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2009. "The geography of output volatility," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 163-178, November.
    9. Gustavo Ferro & Omar Chisari, 2010. "Tópicos de Economía de la Regulación de los Servicios Públicos," Working Papers hal-00473038, HAL.
    10. Hecht, Joy E., 1997. "Impacts of tariff escalation on the environment: Literature review and synthesis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(10), pages 1701-1716, October.
    11. Ebenezer OLUBIYI, 2015. "Effects of Trade Facilitation on Inequality: A Case Study of Sub-Sahara Africa," Turkish Economic Review, KSP Journals, vol. 2(3), pages 169-185, September.
    12. Escobal, Javier, 2005. "The Role of Public Infraestructure in Market Development in Rural Peru," MPRA Paper 727, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Fung, K. C. & Lau, Lawrence J., 2001. "New Estimates of the United States-China BilateralTrade Balances," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 102-130, March.
    14. Daniel Lederman & William F. Maloney, 2007. "Natural Resources : Neither Curse nor Destiny," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7183, April.
    15. Josaphat Kweka, "undated". "Trade Policy and Transport Costs in Tanzania," Discussion Papers 06/10, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.
    16. Ng, Francis & Yeats, Alexander, 1997. "Open economies work better! did Africa's protectionist policies cause its marginalization in world trade?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 889-904, June.
    17. Fung, K. C. & Lau, Lawrence J., 2003. "Adjusted estimates of United States-China bilateral trade balances: 1995-2002," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 489-496, June.
    18. Sequeira, Sandra & Djankov, Simeon, 2010. "An Empirical Study of Corruption in Ports," MPRA Paper 21791, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Nichodemus Rudaheranwa, "undated". "Trade Policy and Transport Costs in Uganda," Discussion Papers 06/09, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.
    20. K.C. Fung & LawrenceJ. Lau & Yanyan Xiong, 2006. "Adjusted Estimates Of United States-China Bilateral Trade Balances: An Update," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(3), pages 299-314, October.
    21. Habimana, Olivier, 2016. "Oil price, exchange rate and consumer price co-movement: A continuous-wavelet analysis," MPRA Paper 71886, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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