Analysis of the Determinants of Export Diversification in the Franc Zone: A Comparative Study in WAEMU and CAEMU Countries

Rémy HOUNSOU, Ph.D., Firmin Gbetoho AYIVODJI


The objective of this study is to analyze the determinants of export diversification in the 14 countries of the Franc Zone and compare them between WAEMU and CAEMU zones. Export diversification leads to sustainable economic growth, a satisfactory balance of payments, job creation and income redistribution. To this end, the study uses Bruno (2005a, b) LSDVC econometric estimation methods over the period 1990-2015 to identify factors that may or may not improve export diversification in these countries. The main lesson of this study is that more factors favor diversification in WAEMU countries compared to those in the CAEMU zone. In addition, we note a U-inverse relationship between per capita income and diversification in the WAEMU zone while a U-shaped relationship is observed in the second zone. Moreover, the results on the Franc Zone as a whole show that the most relevant explicative factors of export diversification are: human capital, economic development, financial liberalization, degree of trade openness, public investment and the index of democracy.

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