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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The various dimensions of commodity dependence in Africa
Authors:Marinkov, MarinaISNI
Burger, PhilippeISNI
Periodical:South African Journal of Economics
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:economic dependence
External link:https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1813-6982.2005.00017.x/pdf
Abstract:This paper considers whether or not the poor performance of many African countries can be ascribed to a dependency on primary commodity exports. Finding an answer to this multidimensional question is not straightforward, with many authors considering different aspects. These include whether or not there has been a secular decline in the terms-of-trade of African countries (as postulated by the Prebisch-Singer Hypothesis, 1950), establishing the degree to which commodity prices are volatile, whether or not the GDP of selected African countries is dependent on exports and how sensitive the exchange rates of these countries are to changes in commodity prices (the so-called Dutch disease problem). The paper considers all of these questions in an attempt to diagnose whether or not there is a commodity dependence problem and to establish its dimensions. It uses data on 39 commodities and ten African countries, viz. Benin, Cameroon, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia. The paper finds that relative to the price of manufactured goods there is a downward secular trend in less than half of the commodity prices considered. Nonetheless, most commodity prices are highly volatile. Furthermore, in the case of half of the countries considered GDP is dependent on exports. However, the paper finds limited evidence for Dutch disease. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]