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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 well-being are provided on the basis of a new index of human development, alternative to the UNDP’s HDI. A sustained improvement in African human development is found that falls, nonetheless, short of those experienced in other developing regions. Within Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa has fallen steadily behind the North since mid-20th century. Human development improvement is positively associated to being coastal and resource-rich and negatively to political-economy distortions. Contrary to the world experience, in which life expectancy dominated, education has driven progress in African human development during the last half-a-century and, due to the impact of HIV/AIDS on life expectancy and the arresting effect of economic mismanagement and political turmoil on growth, advances in human development since 1990 have depended almost exclusively on education achievements. The large country variance of the recovery during the last decade suggests being cautious about the future’s prospects.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8586.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8586

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Keywords: Africa; Education; HDI; Human Development; Life Expectancy; Sub-Saharan Africa;

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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 0034, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
  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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