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Doukoure Charle Fe
''Trade flows between the West African Economic and Monetary Union's members so little: does exports structure matter ?''
( 2021, Vol. 41 No.2 )
The West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) is a regional trade agreement in West Africa. It has registered a quite good improving growth dynamic since its establishment in 1994. But the trade between members remains very low. Many factors have been raised in the literature on this issue without testing the effect of exports similarity empirically. This paper looks at the relationship between exports structure, and the trade flows between member countries. It also investigates which country gain from creating this regional economic agreement in terms of intra trade expanding. The results reveal that country members' goods exported in WAEMU are similar and exports within member countries decrease significantly with the degree of exports similarity. So, exports similarity is also an obstacle to expanding trade between WAEMU members. Also, all member countries don't gain from the trade creation effect generated by WAEMU because of the level of exports similarity. Only Mali increases its exports towards WAEMU member states, but this result relies on the large share of re-export.
Keywords: Economic integration, exports similarity, intra trade
JEL: F1 - Trade: General
F4 - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance: General
Manuscript Received : Dec 18 2020 Manuscript Accepted : Apr 09 2021

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