Export Variety and Imported Intermediate Inputs: Industry-Level Evidence from Africa

Gideon Ndubuisi, Emmanuel Mensah and Solomon Owusu
#Trade and FDI
#Sub-saharan Africa

Imported intermediate inputs offer access to lower-priced, higher quality, and a wider variety of inputs that can increase the possibility of producing and selling more diversified products in foreign markets. In this paper, we examine this relationship using a novel manufacturing industry-level data across 26 African countries over the 1995-2016 period. We find strong evidence of a positive relationship between imported intermediate inputs and the variety of exported products. Further analyses in the study indicate that imported intermediate inputs positively affect the variety of exported products because they offer lower-priced, and higher-quality/technology embodied inputs. However, the positive effect of imported intermediate inputs on the variety of exported products depend on industry's absorptive capacity, especially when the inputs are sourced from advanced countries. We discuss the implications of our findings.


Gideon Ndubuisi

Delft University of Technology

Emmanuel B. Mensah

Utrecht University

Solomon Owusu

Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University

Scroll to Top