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West Africa Trade Hub studies "multiplier effect" of exports on economy

West Africa Trade Hub technical experts worked in the fall of 2009 with Prof. Daniel Bromley of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and economists at the University of Ghana to design and test questionnaires that will be used to determine the multiple ways that more exports affect West Africa's regional economy. The study will assess impacts of increased exports in the cashew, home décor & fashion accessories and shea value chains in Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Mali.

The Trade Hub trained 10 U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers and two research assistants at the University of Ghana to use the questionnaires. Prof. Bromley and Trade Hub Technical Coordinator Kafui Djonou then met with potential partners to the study in Cote d’Ivoire. The study will develop a “multiplier,” an equation that helps show the impacts of increased exports on economic activity in West Africa. Economists broadly agree that increasing exports has many positive effects on economies—leading to new jobs and higher incomes—but the extent of these impacts in West Africa is unknown. Read more about this initiative and watch a video interview with Prof. Bromley.

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Published January 2010