Journal Article

Nigerien second-hand car traders in Cotonou: A sociocultural analysis of economic decision-making

J. Joost Beuving

in African Affairs

Published on behalf of Royal African Society

Volume 105, issue 420, pages 353-373
Published in print July 2006 | ISSN: 0001-9909
Published online February 2006 | e-ISSN: 1468-2621 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/afraf/adi106
Nigerien second-hand car traders in Cotonou: A sociocultural analysis of economic decision-making

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  • African Studies
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This article discusses the economic decision-making of migrant traders from Niger who operate in large second-hand car markets found in Cotonou (Benin). Like the Cotonou car-trading community at large, these traders continued to import cars despite the fact that local demand dropped in 2002. Case analysis uncovers that Nigerien car traders show a propensity to live up to the expectations of people in authority. Business decisions in geographically separated markets tend not to be based on reliable exchange of information about the conditions of supply and demand. This cultural element that is associated with ethnicity and kinship, in turn, leads to a belief of profitability in the car business that is no longer grounded in observable facts and hence leads to financial losses.

Journal Article.  8949 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: African Studies ; International Relations ; African History ; Regional Political Studies

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