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Abstract

African countries do not tend to trade agricultural goods regionally, in contrast to other regions of the world. The current research uses a gravity model to consider several alternative hypotheses for this stylized fact. The results indicate that African countries tend to trade with countries that have similar diets, but also with countries that have comparative advantage in production and similar languages. Being landlocked reduces trade likelihood, but African countries seem similarly or more likely to import from bordering countries than nations in general. The model also overpredicts trade for most observations but underpredicts imports from middle income African importers.

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