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Institutions, Governance and Economic Development in Africa: An Overview

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  • Augustin Fosu
  • Robert Bates
  • Anke Hoeffler

Abstract

As poor policies are blamed for dismal economic outcomes in many African countries and institutions and governance have assumed greater importance in explaining policy making, this article overviews a set of papers appearing in the current volume on 'institutions, governance and economic development in Africa'. The following results emerge. First, while politically accountable governments can lead to improved economic outcomes, they are unlikely to adopt economically desirable policies that are unpopular with the populace. Unfortunately, such governments also tend to increase the risk of political disorder in Africa, which may in turn be growth-inhibiting. Thus, recent attempts by African countries to adopt more democratic governments may not lead to the expected improved growth and development outcomes unless successful attempts at minimising political disorder can be achieved. Second, the existence of ethnically based interest groups is likely to result in sub-optimal provision of public goods, which can be critical to the development process. Hence, the challenge of attenuating ethnic polarisation is a salient one. Third, as the Botswana case indicates, the ability to appropriately accommodate minority interests, coupled with the existence of external threats and natural resource endowments that foster the delineation of property rights, augers well for state building required for good governance, notwithstanding the existence of low population density. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE) in its journal Journal of African Economies.

Volume (Year): 15 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 1-9

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:15:y:2006:i:1:p:1-9

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Cited by:
  1. Ugur, Mehmet & Dasgupta, Nandini, 2011. "Corruption and economic growth: A meta-analysis of the evidence on low-income countries and beyond," MPRA Paper 31226, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 31 May 2011.
  2. Ranis, Gustav, 2011. "Diversity of Communities and Economic Development: An Overview," Working Papers 93, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  3. Gustav Ranis, 2009. "Diversity of Communities and Economic Development: An Overview," Working Papers 977, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  4. Céline Azémar & Rodolphe Desbordes, 2009. "Public Governance, Health and Foreign Direct Investment in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 18(4), pages 667-709, August.
  5. Asongu Simplice, 2014. "Knowledge Economy and Financial Sector Competition in African Countries," Working Papers 14/006, African Governance and Development Institute..
  6. Bichaka Fayissa & Christian Nsiah, 2010. "The Impact of Governance on Economic Growth: Further Evidence for Africa," Working Papers 201012, Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Economics and Finance.
  7. Isaac Addai & Jelena Pokimica, 2012. "An Exploratory Study of Trust and Material Hardship in Ghana," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 109(3), pages 413-438, December.
  8. B.P. Zaaruka & J.W. Fedderke, 2011. "Measuring Institutions: Indicators of Political and Economic Institutions in Namibia: 1884 - 2008," Working Papers 236, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  9. Gustav Ranis, 2011. "Diversity of Communities and Economic Development: An Overview," Working Papers 1001, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  10. Isaac Addai & Jelena Pokimica, 2010. "Ethnicity and Economic Well-Being: The Case of Ghana," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 99(3), pages 487-510, December.
  11. Adler, Nicole & Yazhemsky, Ekaterina & Tarverdyan, Ruzanana, 2010. "A framework to measure the relative socio-economic performance of developing countries," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 73-88, June.
  12. Marta Orviska & Anetta Caplanova & John Hudson, 2014. "The Impact of Democracy on Well-being," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 115(1), pages 493-508, January.

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