Economic Geography and Economic Development in Sub-Saharan Africa

Maarten Bosker*, Harry Garretsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sub-Saharan Africas (SSA) physical geography is often blamed for its poor economic performance. A countrys geographical location does, however, not only determine its agricultural conditions or disease environment. It also pins down a countrys relative position vis--vis other countries, affecting its ease of access to foreign markets. This paper assesses the importance of market access for manufactures in explaining the observed income differences between SSA countries over the period 19932009. We construct yearly, theory-based measures of each SSA countrys market access using the information contained in bilateral manufacturing trade flows. Using these measures, we find a robust positive effect of market access on economic development that has increased in importance during the last decade. Interestingly, when further unraveling this finding, access to other SSA markets in particular turns out to be important.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-485
Number of pages43
JournalWorld Bank Economic Review
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • INCREASING RETURNS
  • TRADE COSTS
  • LOCATION
  • GROWTH
  • WAGES
  • PRODUCTIVITY
  • FIRMS
  • CHINA

Cite this