Jennifer Aker

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Institutional Affiliation: Tufts University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 2015International and Intranational Market Segmentation and Integration in West Africa
with Michael W. Klein, Stephen A. O'Connell
in African Successes, Volume IV: Sustainable Growth, Sebastian Edwards, Simon Johnson, and David N. Weil, editors
We use data on monthly prices of three agricultural goods in local markets in Niger and Nigeria to analyze the extent and sources of market integration, both across the international border and across ethnically diverse regions within Niger. We find that the international border effect is statistically significant, but of limited economic magnitude as compared to what has been found for industrial countries. Furthermore, the international border effect is mitigated when participants in cross-border markets have access to mobile phones. Within Niger, there is evidence of a de facto intra-national border between the Hausa and Zarma regions, The impact of this internal border on market segmentation is statistically significant and larger in magnitude than the impact of the Niger/Nigeria bo...
May 2010Borders, Ethnicity and Trade
with Michael W. Klein, Stephen A. O'Connell, Muzhe Yang: w15960
Do national borders and ethnicity contribute to market segmentation between and within countries? This paper uses unique and high-frequency data on narrowly-defined goods to gauge the extent to which a national border impedes trade between developing countries (Niger and Nigeria). Using a regression discontinuity approach, we find a significant price change at the national border, but one that is lower in magnitude than that found for industrialized countries. Yet unlike that literature, and in line with important characteristics of African economies, we investigate the role of ethnicity in mitigating and exacerbating the border effect. We find that a common ethnicity is linked to lower price dispersion across countries, yet ethnic diversity creates an internal border within Niger. The pri...

Published: Aker, Jenny C. & Klein, Michael W. & O'Connell, Stephen A. & Yang, Muzhe, 2014. "Borders, ethnicity and trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 1-16. citation courtesy of

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