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Integrating Africa: Some Trade Policy Research Priorities and Challenges

Bernard Hoekman () and Dominique Njinkeu

No 2017/43, RSCAS Working Papers from European University Institute

Abstract: This paper discusses opportunities for trade policy research to contribute more to efforts to integrate African markets, a stated policy priority for African leaders. Much of the economic research in this area has sought to quantify aggregate trade costs and the potential welfare impacts of reducing such costs, including through regional integration. This is important, but we argue that more focus is needed on the ‘micro’ dimensions of regional integration. These center on the trade-restricting effects of nontariff measures and regulatory policies and their political economy underpinnings. Of particular importance is research on mechanisms to support market integration initiatives that recognize the multidimensional nature of the sources of trade costs in Africa, and the associated political economy forces within and between countries and regional economic communities.

Keywords: trade costs; nontariff measures; trade facilitation; regional integration; services markets (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F13 F15 O19 O55 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr and nep-int
Date: 2017-09
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