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Social Capital as a Determinant of Economic Growth in Africa

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  • Jerven, Morten

    ()
    (London School of Economics)

Abstract

This paper reviews the methodology and evidence of recent regression literature attributing the African growth shortfall to lack of social capital. It finds that the literature is not able to account for the actual economic growth experience, only in a significantly reformulated and misleading way. The paper considers how social capital is defined and which proxies are used in the literature, and notes considerable theoretical and empirical inconsistency. In conclusion the paper supports the contention that social capital is best understood as an outcome, and not a cause of growth. At the present state of the literature explaining economic growth the use of social capital as a determinant. has not been empirically useful nor analytically coherent.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Ratio Institute in its series Ratio Working Papers with number 108.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 16 Nov 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:ratioi:0108

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Keywords: Social Capital; Africa; Economic Growth;

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  1. Andre, Catherine & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 1998. "Land relations under unbearable stress: Rwanda caught in the Malthusian trap," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 1-47, January.
  2. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 1993. "Losers and Winners in Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 4341, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Bleaney, Michael & Nishiyama, Akira, 2002. " Explaining Growth: A Contest between Models," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 43-56, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Daron Acemoglu & Tristan Reed & James A. Robinson, 2013. "Chiefs: Elite Control of Civil Society and Economic Development in Sierra Leone," NBER Working Papers 18691, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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