Cross-Border Trade Networks in Nigeria-Niger-Benin

Posted: 3 May 2013

See all articles by Olivier Walther

Olivier Walther

University of Florida; University of Southern Denmark

Date Written: May 3, 2013


The aim of this paper is to show how network analysis may be applied to the study of cross-border trade in West Africa. We start by discussing how recent developments in regional trade in West Africa have contributed to challenging the social structure of traders. We then discuss the changes that have affected the spatiality of regional trade by looking at the influence of spatial location and geographic scale on traders’ abilities to trade. In both cases, we argue that the value of social network analysis in exploring how traders have progressively adapted to social and spatial changes in economic activities has been greatly underestimated. Our discussion is illustrated with the case of two business networks located between Niger, Benin and Nigeria.

Suggested Citation

Walther, Olivier, Cross-Border Trade Networks in Nigeria-Niger-Benin (May 3, 2013). Available at SSRN:

Olivier Walther (Contact Author)

University of Florida ( email )

425 Grinter Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611
United States

University of Southern Denmark ( email )

Campusvej 55
DK-5230 Odense, 5000

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