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Human development in Africa: A long-run perspective

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  • Prados de la Escosura, Leandro

Abstract

Long-run trends in Africa's wellbeing are provided on the basis of a new index of human development, alternative to the UNDP's HDI. A long-run improvement in African human development is found that it falls short of those experienced in other developing regions. A closer look at Africa reveals the distinctive behaviour north and south of the Sahara, with Sub-Saharan Africa falling behind other developing regions and North Africa catching up. Education has been human development's driving force over time. Since the late 1980s, stagnating life expectancy largely due to the spread of HIV/AIDS and the arresting effect of economic mismanagement and political turmoil on growth, help to explain Africa's falling behind. Human development advancement since the mid-twentieth century is positively associated to being a coastal and resource-rich country and negatively to political–economic distortions. The large country variance of the recovery during the last decade suggests being cautious about the future's prospects.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Explorations in Economic History.

Volume (Year): 50 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 179-204

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Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:50:y:2013:i:2:p:179-204

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622830

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Keywords: Africa; Human development; Life expectancy; Education;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Leandro Prados de la Escosura, 2013. "World human development : 1870-2007," Working Papers in Economic History wp13-01, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Historia Económica e Instituciones.
  2. Emanuele Felice & Michelangelo Vasta, 2012. "Passive Modernization? The New Human Development Index and Its Components in Italy’s Regions (1871-2007)," UHE Working papers 2012_10, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Departament d'Economia i Història Econòmica, Unitat d'Història Econòmica.
  3. Andreas Exenberger & Simon Hartmann, 2013. "How Does Institutional Change Coincide with Changes in the Quality of Life? An Exemplary Case Study," Working Papers 2013-09, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.

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