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Intra-African Trade

William Olney

No 2020-07, Department of Economics Working Papers from Department of Economics, Williams College

Abstract: This paper examines why the intra-continental trade share in Africa is only 12%, compared to 47% in North America, 53% in Asia, and 69% in Europe. Results show that exports to other African countries decrease more quickly with distance and increase less quickly with economic size, than exports to non-African countries. The analysis investigates possible explanations and identifies factors that promote trade between African countries. Intra-African exports are found to disproportionately increase with infrastructure (especially roads), trade agreements, and a more efficient customs clearing process. Diversifying the domestic economy away from agriculture and towards services is also associated with more intra-African trade. These results can guide efforts to promote African economic integration.

Keywords: intra-continental trade; exports; infrastructure; corruption; trade agreements; Africa (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F14 F15 O55 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 38 pages
Date: 2020-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr, nep-dev and nep-int
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