An African Growth Miracle? Or: What do Asset Indices Tell Us about Trends in Economic Performance?
AbstractUsing changes in the possession of household assets over the past 20 years, several recent papers have argued that economic performance in Arica was substantially better than suggested by national income data and income poverty statistics, who suffer from well-known weaknesses. We scrutinize these claims and first argue that trends in assets provide biased proxies for trends in incomes or consumption. In particular we show that the relationship between growth in assets and growth in incomes or consumption is extremely weak; instead, we find evidence of asset drift using macro and micro data, which is consistent with the claims we make about possible biases in the use of asset indices. As a result, we find no evidence supporting the claim of an African growth miracle that extends beyond what has been reported in GDP/capita and consumption figures.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Courant Research Centre PEG in its series Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers with number 109.
Date of creation: 16 Feb 2012
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Asset index; GDP growth; Africa;
Other versions of this item:
- Kenneth Harttgen & Stephan Klasen & Sebastian Vollmer, 2013. "An African Growth Miracle? Or: What do Asset Indices Tell Us About Trends in Economic Performance?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 59, pages S37-S61, October.
- O47 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Measurement of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
- O11 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
- O12 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-02-27 (All new papers)
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Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Has the African Growth Miracle Already Happened?
by Shanta in Africa Can End Poverty on 2013-01-15 16:55:48
- Kodila-Tedika, Oasis, 2012. "Africa's statistical tragedy: best statistics, best government effectiveness," MPRA Paper 40674, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Paul Mosley, 2013. "Two Africas? Why Africa’s ‘Growth Miracle’ is barely reducing poverty," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 19113, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
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