The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper examines the extent and structure of nominal protection in a large sample of Sub-Saharan countries, and provides estimates of the effects of this protection on the exports of these countries. Both tariff rates and the frequency of nontariff barriers are found to be appreciably higher on average in the Sub-Saharan countries than in other developing countries. The empirical estimates, based on simulations of a simple model of trade and real exchange rate adjustment, suggest that protection reduces the value of the sample countries’ exports (relative to baseline levels) by between 15 and 33 percent per annum, and inhibits export diversification.