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Explaining Africa's Growth Tragedy: A Theoretical Model of Dictatorship and Kleptocracy

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  • Yuan K. Chou
  • Hayat Khan

Abstract

In this paper, we construct a dynamic model of a kleptocratic dictatorship to explain sub-Saharan Africa’s dismal economic performance between the early 1970s and the mid-1990s. The dictator’s objective is to maximize a discounted stream of revenue generated through theft of the economy’s output by choosing the optimal expropriation rate and the size of the security force employed to enforce his rule. The model is used to evaluate alternative intervention options open to developed countries such as unconditional, conditional and selective foreign aid, financial and military assistance to rebel groups, as well as medical relief to combat the HIV/AIDs pandemic.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The University of Melbourne in its series Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number 922.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:922

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Web page: http://www.economics.unimelb.edu.au
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Related research

Keywords: Economic performance; dictatorship; foreign aid; Africa;

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References

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  1. Baizhu Chen & Yi Feng, 1999. "Economic development and the transition to democracy a formal model," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 1-16.
  2. Jody Overland & Kenneth L. Simons & Michael Spagat, 2000. "Political Instability and Growth in Dictatorships," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 354, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  3. William Easterly & Ross Levine & David Roodman, 2003. "New Data, New Doubts: Revisiting "Aid, Policies, and Growth"," Working Papers 26, Center for Global Development.
  4. Benno J. Ndulu & Stephen A. O'Connell, 1999. "Governance and Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 41-66, Summer.
  5. Jan Willem Gunning & Paul Collier, 1999. "Explaining African Economic Performance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 64-111, March.
  6. Collier, Paul & Dollar, David, 2000. "Can the world cut poverty in half ? how policy reform and effective aid can meet international development goals," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2403, The World Bank.
  7. Boone, Peter, 1996. "Politics and the effectiveness of foreign aid," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 289-329, February.
  8. Alberto Alesina & David Dollar, 1998. "Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?," NBER Working Papers 6612, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Burnside, Craig & Dollar, David, 1997. "Aid, policies, and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1777, The World Bank.
  10. Paul Mosley & John Hudson & Arjan Verschoor, 2004. "Aid, Poverty Reduction and the 'New Conditionality'," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(496), pages F217-F243, 06.
  11. John Sender, 1999. "Africa's Economic Performance: Limitations of the Current Consensus," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 89-114, Summer.
  12. Banerjee, A.V., 1997. "A Theory of Misgovernance," Working papers 97-4, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  13. Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Henrik Hansen & Finn Tarp, 2001. "On the Empirics of Foreign Aid and Growth," EPRU Working Paper Series 03-13, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics, revised Sep 2003.
  14. C-J. Dalgaard & H. Hansen, 2001. "On Aid, Growth and Good Policies," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6), pages 17-41.
  15. Maurice Obstfeld., 1998. "Foreign Resource Inflows, Saving, and Growth," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C98-099, University of California at Berkeley.
  16. William Easterly, 2003. "Can Foreign Aid Buy Growth?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 23-48, Summer.
  17. Levy, Victor, 1988. "Aid and growth in Sub-Saharan Africa: The recent experience," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1777-1795, November.
  18. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1997. "A Theory of Misgovernance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1289-1332, November.
  19. Hansen, Henrik & Tarp, Finn, 2001. "Aid and growth regressions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 547-570, April.
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