Imagine that you work for the World Bank and you have been called to Ghana to aid the new president to come up with a new international trade strategy.
You are told that the new government is interested in moving away from agriculture and into manufacturing. To do so, the government wants to pursuit a policy of import substitution industrialization (ISI).
You are given a brief about Ghana highlighting the following points:
About half of Ghana’s population depends on agriculture, but Ghana still imports some of its food.
The majority of Ghana’s people live in rural areas and exist on a subsistence way of life.
Ghana has one of the highest rates of income inequality in the world.
Nearly half of the population is employed in agriculture.
Ghana imports and exports food from and to neighbouring Côte d’Ivoire. The latter nation is very similar to Ghana in most ways. It has a similar environment, a similar level of education, and similar institutional background. Would you argue that trade between the two countries can be explained by comparative advantage? Why or why not?
Ghana also exports food to Switzerland. The latter nation is very different to Ghana in most ways. Would you argue that trade between the two countries can be explained by comparative advantage? Why or why not?
Explain import substitution industrialisation and how it can affect Ghana. What role does learning by doing play and when does it make sense for the government to interfere?
Ghana’s president’s ISI strategy is to ask Switzerland to adopt a voluntary export restraint (VER). He believes that this is likely to increase Ghanaian welfare. Using two diagrams (one for each country) explain the Ghanaian welfare consequences of this policy.
Explain if the VER is likely to improve the average efficiency of Ghana’s farms.
After a meeting with Ghana’s president you learn that the government is also interested in repatriating migrants that went to European countries to study engineering a decade ago. Explain how this is likely to change Ghana’s comparative advantage.
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