Diversification of exports and vulnerability of the economies of sub-Saharan African countries: Role of dependence on natural resources


Université d’Abomey-Calavi (UAC), Bénin,
Faculté des Sciences Économiques et de Gestion (FASEG)

Abstract : Export diversification in Africa is a topic of great interest, but its impact on eco­nomic vulnerability has not been sufficiently studied. Using a dynamic and panel threshold effects, this article examines the role of natural resource dependence in the relationship between diversification and economic vulnerability within a sample of 22 countries of the sub-Saharan Africa. We consider the modified Finger-Kreinin index and the share of manufactured exports in total exports as a measure of export diversification. Our results show that export diversification is a means of substantially reducing the level of economic vulnerability to which countries ’ economies are exposed. However, its effect on reducing the level of economic vulnerability is effective for a level of natural resource dependence below 38.7%. These results imply that it is important to take into account the threshold thus identified in the reorientation of their diversification policy based on a strategy of regional integration.

Keywords : export diversification, economic vulnerability, natural resource dependence, threshold effect.

JEL classification : L25, Q32, C33.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.18559/RIELF.2022.1.7