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Trade, taxes, and tribute: market liberalizations and the new importers in West Africa

Boone, Catherine (1994) Trade, taxes, and tribute: market liberalizations and the new importers in West Africa. World Development, 22 (3). pp. 453-467. ISSN 0305-750X

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Identification Number: 10.1016/0305-750X(94)90135-X


This paper examines dynamics of state-business relations in the era of trade liberalization in Senegal and Côte d'Ivoire. It challenges the orthodox view that replacing nontariff barriers (such as licenses and quotas) with tariffs depoliticizes trade, reduces commercial rent-seeking activities, and creates a level playing field which will encourage underground activities to surface, allowing the state to capture more revenue. The paper illustrates that liberalization failed to suppress commercial rent-seeking, helped to encourage the ascendancy of new politically connected merchant groups (the Mourides in Senegal and the Lebanese in Côte d'Ivoire), and to some degree increased tax evasion leading to the further erosion of state revenue flows. The cases show that trade-centered rentierism is rooted in structural features of these West African economies.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 1994 Elsevier Ltd.
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2013 14:20
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2021 11:06

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