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How trade deals explain the behaviour of West African elites

By Michael E Odijie, Research associate, UCL
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The political survival of ruling elites is one of the major determining factors behind their trade policy choices. But trade policy choices can determine whether a country’s economy diversifies to reduce dependence on the production of a few goods or services. This phenomenon is most pronounced in countries whose economies are heavily dependent on a few commodity exports.

To understand this phenomenon better, I have looked at the behaviour of ruling elites in West Africa since the early…

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