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Does migration foster exports ? evidence from Africa

Author

Listed:
  • Ehrhart, Helene
  • Le Goff, Maelan
  • Rocher?, Emmanuel
  • Singh, Raju Jan

Abstract

This paper aims at assessing the impact of migration on export performance and more particularly the effect of African migrants on African trade. Relying on a new data set on international bilateral migration recently released by the World Bank spanning from 1980 to 2010, the authors estimate a gravity model that deals satisfactorily with endogeneity. The results first indicate that the pro-trade effect of migration is higher for African countries, a finding that can be partly explained by the substitution between migrants and institutions (the existence of migrant networks compensating for weak contract enforcement, for instance). This positive association is particularly important for the exports of differentiated products, suggesting that migrants also play an important role in reducing information costs. Moreover, focusing on intra-African trade, the pro-trade effect of African migrants is larger when migrants are established in a more geographically and ethnically distant country. All these findings highlight the ability of African migrants to help overcome some of the main barriers to African trade: the weakness of institutions, information costs, cultural differences, and lack of trust.

Suggested Citation

  • Ehrhart, Helene & Le Goff, Maelan & Rocher?, Emmanuel & Singh, Raju Jan, 2014. "Does migration foster exports ? evidence from Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6739, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6739
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Marcus H. Böhme & Sarah Kups, 2017. "The economic effects of labour immigration in developing countries: A literature review," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 335, OECD Publishing.
    2. repec:bla:worlde:v:40:y:2017:i:7:p:1345-1380 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Mawussé K. N. Okey, 2017. "Does migration promote industrial development in Africa?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 37(1), pages 228-247.
    4. Aurore Gary & Audrey-Rose Menard, 2015. "Aid, Trade and Migration : How are OECD countries policies connected in times of crisis?," Working Papers of BETA 2015-11, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    5. Rodolfo Metulini & Paolo Sgrignoli & Stefano Schiavo & Massimo Riccaboni, 2014. "The migration network effect on international trade," Working Papers 5/2014, IMT Institute for Advanced Studies Lucca, revised May 2014.

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    Keywords

    Economic Theory&Research; Population Policies; Free Trade; Trade Policy; Emerging Markets;

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