The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Applied Economics: M.S.




School of Public Affairs

First Advisor

Artatrana Ratha

Second Advisor

Eungmin Kang

Third Advisor

Chukwunyere Ugochukwu

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


International trade has induced important changes in the last decades. Through specialization, countries can benefit from trade and increase their national income. In fact, the current trend is that developed countries specialize in production and exports of services and manufactured products resulting in a faster and stable economic growth while developing countries specialize in production and exports of primary commodities causing lower and unstable economic growth. The present study has investigated the relationship between Terms of trade, Trade openness and economic growth in sub-Saharan African countries. The investigation aimed to see if international trade is beneficial to countries heavily dependent on primary commodities exports subject to high volatility price. Using the Fixed and Random effects models on 13 countries from 1980 to 2011, the results of this empirical analysis have led to the conclusions that Terms of trade has a positive relationship with the GDP level in SSA, therefore any improvement of it induces a better economic performance, and Trade openness has a negative relationship with the GDP level implying openness to international was not beneficial to SSA.