Dutch researcher Joost Beuving concludes that the gambling behaviour of car traders has played an important role in the rapid growth of the West African second-hand car trade. This uneconomic behaviour emerges from the belief that they will one day make a fortune.
European second-hand cars flooded onto the West African car market in the 1990s. The port-town of Cotonou in Benin became an important operating base for this Euro-African car trade. At its peak in about 2000, several hundreds of thousands of cars per year were traded. During this period, most West African countries followed a neoliberal economic policy.
Yet according to Beuving the entrepreneurship of the car dealers was more important than free trade for the rapid growth of the West African second-hand car market. The car traders invested in the trade, even though they were making less profit, the prices were falling and there were increasingly more bankruptcies.
Joost Beuving | alfa
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