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Do African Immigrants Enhance Their Home Nations’ Trade With Their Hosts?

From: The Journal of Developing Areas
Volume 47, Number 2, Fall 2013
pp. 199-228 | 10.1353/jda.2013.0037



Employing data on the immigrant stocks of 43 African home countries who reside in 110 host countries and on trade flows between these countries during the year 2005, we examine whether African immigrants exert positive effects on their home countries’ trade with the typical host country. Estimates from Tobit regression models indicate a one percent increase in the number of African immigrants in a given host country increases that country’s exports to and imports from the typical home country by 0.132 percent and 0.259 percent, respectively. Further evaluation of these effects from the perspective of each African home country reveals that, in several instances, immigrants do not exert positive and significant influences on trade flows. The considerable variation in the presence of pro-trade influences and the dissimilarity of estimated significant effects suggests that highly divergent immigration and trade structures among African countries may affect whether African immigrants exert pro-trade influences.

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