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The Role of Capital Accumulation, Adjustment and Structural Change for Economic Take-Off: Empirical Evidence from African Growth Episodes


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  • Jean-Claude Berthélemy
  • Ludvig Söderling
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    In this study, we analyse extended periods of growth in Africa based on panel estimations from 27 African countries during the 1960-1996 period. Only a dozen of such rapid growth episodes are observable in Africa since 1960, and several of them eventually came to an end. We use all existing information on macroeconomic performance in Africa in a comparative manner, in order to assess the sustainability of current growth episodes. Our main conclusion is that sustainable growth needs to be based on a balanced mix of capital accumulation, macroeconomic adjustment and structural change. In addition to more commonly used determinants of Total Factor Productivity, we construct a measure for the effect of labour reallocation as well as an index of economic diversification and estimate the impact of the latter on long-term growth. We also build an analysis of investment behaviour, which is influenced by Total Factor Productivity gains, while influencing economic growth directly through ... Dans ce document, nous analysons des périodes de croissance prolongées en Afrique sur la base d’estimations en données de panel pour 27 pays sur la période 1960-1996. Il n’y a eu qu’une douzaine de tels épisodes de croissance « rapide » en Afrique depuis 1960 et beaucoup d’entre eux se sont soldés par des échecs. Nous utilisons à titre comparatif l’ensemble des informations disponibles sur les performances macroéconomiques en Afrique, afin d’évaluer le caractère soutenable des épisodes de croissance en cours. Notre principale conclusion est que pour être soutenable, la croissance doit reposer sur une combinaison équilibrée d’accumulation du capital, d’ajustement macroéconomique et de changement structurel. En complément des déterminants usuels de la productivité globale des facteurs, nous construisons un indicateur de l’effet de la réallocation du travail ainsi qu’un indicateur de diversification économique, dont nous testons l’impact sur la croissance à long terme. Nous proposons ...

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Development Centre Working Papers with number 150.

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    Date of creation: Jul 1999
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    Handle: RePEc:oec:devaaa:150-en

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    Cited by:
    1. Jean-Claude Berthelémy & Sophie Chauvin, 2000. "Structural Changes in Asia and Growth Prospects After the Crisis," Working Papers 2000-09, CEPII research center.


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