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Determinants of Trade Openness in Sub-Saharan Africa: Do Institutions Matter?

Ibrahim Ngouhouo, Tii Nchofoung () and Arsène Aurelien Njamen Kengdo

International Economic Journal, 2021, vol. 35, issue 1, 96-119

Abstract: This paper aims to analyse the determinants of trade openness in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries focusing on the role play by domestic institutions. To achieve this, the Generalized Methods of Moments (GMM) is carried out on 36 SSA countries over the period 1996-2017. The results of our estimation reveal that domestic institutions as a composite index determines trade openness as a composite share of Squalli and Wilson (2011). In addition, government effectiveness, Regulatory quality and rule of law were all enhancing on trade openness. Moreover, access to sea, foreign direct investment, and trade openness lagged by one period all significantly determine trade openness in our estimations, with all these effects positive. When trade share was considered as a robustness check, inflation and population growth were further found to be significantly determine trade openness, whereas GDP per capital was significantly trade enhancing. This result was robust to alternative institutional measures and sensitive to the choices of countries and sample periods considered. The policy implications of study engaged the different states of SSA to focus on improving the quality of their domestic institutions in elaborating their international trade policies.

Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1080/10168737.2020.1858323

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