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Imports and growth in Africa


  • Lopez, Ramon
  • Thomas, Vinod


Broad comparisons show that growth is linked to imports, but country coomparisons over short periods show the link to be more flexible than fixed. In these stringent times, the big question for African countries is whether they can reduce their historically high import dependence? Or put differently, can they resume growth without substantially increasing imports? What emerges from this analysis is that some policy changes and structural adjsutments in Africa can change traditional import intensities. But if African countries are to achieve faster sustained growth, imports will need to increase substantially from the recently depressed levels. Also, the countries will need to use those imports far more efficiently than in the past.

Suggested Citation

  • Lopez, Ramon & Thomas, Vinod, 1988. "Imports and growth in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 20, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:20

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Willis L. Peterson, 1979. "International Farm Prices and the Social Cost of Cheap Food Policies," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 61(1), pages 12-21.
    2. Williams, Martin & Laumas, Prem S, 1981. "The Relation between Energy and Non-Energy Inputs in India's Manufacturing Industries," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(2), pages 113-122, December.
    3. Marian E. Bond, 1983. "Agricultural Responses to Prices in Sub-Saharan African Countries (Réactions du secteur agricole aux prix en Afrique au sud du Sahara) (Reacciones de la agricultura ante los precios en los países de," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 30(4), pages 703-726, December.
    4. Siddayao, C. M. & Khaled, M. & Ranada, J. G. & Saicheua, S., 1987. "Estimates of energy and non-energy elasticities in selected Asian manufacturing sectors : Policy implications," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 115-128, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bilge Erten, 2010. "Industrial Upgrading and Export Diversification: A Comparative Analysis of Economic Policies in Turkey and Malaysia," Working Papers id:2778, eSocialSciences.
    2. Lanre Kassim, 2013. "The Impact of Trade Liberalisation on Export Growth and Import Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," Studies in Economics 1310, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    3. Gala, Paulo & Libanio, Gilberto, 2010. "Exchange rate policies, patterns of specialization and economic development: theory and evidence in developing countries," Textos para discussão 211, FGV/EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
    4. Ricardo Bebczuk, 2008. "Imports-Exports Correlation: A New Puzzle?," BCRA Working Paper Series 200833, Central Bank of Argentina, Economic Research Department.


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