A Comparative Study on the Export Competitiveness of the Mineral Industries of the Mano River Union Countries in the US Market Using the Shift Share Analysis

Sheku Maddie Kamara


The mineral sectors of the Mano River Union countries are important contributors to their economic growth. More than half of the export revenues of these countries are derived from the extraction and exportation of minerals. This study was conducted in order to assess the competitiveness of the mineral industries of the Mano River Union countries vis-à-vis Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. The shift share analysis was applied in order to identify the industries that have comparative advantages in the mineral sectors of the sample countries. The United States market was selected as the base of the research upon which the results were analyzed. The total minerals exports of the three countries were classified into five (5) groups based on the Standard International Trade Classification (SITC2-3). The relevant categories were as follows: (1) Iron and Ferro-Alloy Metals (Fe), (2) Non-ferrous Metals (NFM), (3) Industrial Minerals (IM), (4) Precious Metals (PM), and (5) Mineral Fuel (MF). For the purpose of shift share analysis, the study period were divided into two separate terminal periods of 2005-2009, and 2010-2014, taking into consideration the export data runs for ten (10) years. Precisely for Sierra Leone, the NFM, PM and IM industries all show positive correlation values, whilst the Fe industry on the other hand shows a negative correlation value. The result further confirms that the NFM industry was the most competitive industry, whilst the Fe industry was the least competitive. In the case of Guinea, the NFM, IM and MF industries all show positive correlation values, whilst the PM industry shows negative correlation value. The NFM industry was the highest performer, and therefore the most competitive industry. For Liberia, the Fe industry shows positive net shift, whilst the IM industry shows a negative net shift. Overall, the most competitive in the US market was Guinea, followed by Sierra Leone and Liberia respectively.

Keywords: competitiveness, shift-share, net shift, export growth, Mano River Union

DOI: 10.7176/RHSS/9-7-06

Publication date: April 30th 2019

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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