Evaluating Africa’s comparative advantage in travel service exports

Stellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP06/2009
 
Publication date: 2009
 
Author(s):
[protected email address] (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
 
Abstract:

This paper tests the hypothesis that African countries reveal a comparative advantage in travel service exports empirically. The UNCTAD 2007 Handbook of Statistics (2008) is used to calculate revealed comparative advantage for 186 countries over 10 tradable service sectors using three different measures of the Balassa index. The results indicate that many African countries reveal a strong comparative advantage in travel service exports. Particularly, a band of countries with a vertical axis from South Africa to Ethiopia and a band of countries with a horizontal axis in the Sahel reveal promising results. If African countries are to benefit from the growth in world service exports, researchers and policy makers should note the massive potential for African travel exports, especially in the smaller destinations. Policies – including regional initiatives – to promote sustained growth in travel service exports are therefore of critical importance.

 
JEL Classification:

L83, F14, N77

Keywords:

Tourism, international trade, revealed comparative advantage, sub-Saharan Africa

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1 March 2021
Even with the release of data showing a record high unemployment rate in 2020Q4, it turned out to be a fairly good week for the SA economy. Daily new COVID-19 infections remained well contained, while the second batch of 80 000 J&J vaccines arrived (albeit controversially with the grounded SAA being the carrier). In addition, relative to the October...

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