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Regional Integration, Bilateral Diplomacy and African Trade: Evidence from the Gravity Model

Sylvanus Kwaku Afesorgbor

African Development Review, 2019, vol. 31, issue 4, 492-505

Abstract: The paper examines the impact of two main instruments of economic diplomacy — regional integration and commercial diplomacy on export flows among African states. We test whether there is any evidence of a trade‐off or complementary interaction between these two instruments in trade facilitation using the gravity model for 45 African states over the period 1980–2005. The results show that bilateral diplomatic exchange is a more significant determinant of bilateral exports among African states compared to regional integration. We also find that the trade–stimulating effect of diplomatic exchange is less pronounced among African countries that shared membership of the same regional bloc.

Date: 2019
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Handle: RePEc:bla:afrdev:v:31:y:2019:i:4:p:492-505