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Growth of African Economies: Productivity, Policy Syndromes and the Importance of Institutions

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  • Augustin Kwasi Fosu

Abstract

Recent evidence from an exhaustive political-economy study of growth of African economise - the Growth Project of the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) - suggests that 'policy syndromes' have substantially contributed to the generally poor growth in sub-Saharan Africa during post-independence.� The current article employs the unique data and insights generated by the Growth Project to further explore that importance of a 'syndrome-free' (SF) regime for growth in the region by examining: (i) the channels via which SF affects growth: total factor productivity (TFP) versus factors of production; and (ii) the role of institutions in mediating this impact, with special attention accorded the efficacy of the restraint on the executive branch of government in mitigating the potentially adverse effect of ethnicity.

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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number WPS/2012-11.

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Date of creation: 31 Jul 2012
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:wps/2012-11

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  1. Mwangi S. Kimenyi, 2006. "Ethnicity, Governance and the Provision of Public Goods," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(1), pages 62-99, April.
  2. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
  3. Sambit Bhattacharyya, 2009. "Root Causes of African Underdevelopment," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 18(5), pages 745-780, November.
  4. Azam, Jean-Paul, 1995. " How to Pay for the Peace? A Theoretical Framework with References to African Countries," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 83(1-2), pages 173-84, April.
  5. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1995. "Institutions and Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Indicators," MPRA Paper 23118, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Nathan Nunn, 2007. "The Long-Term Effects of Africa's Slave Trades," NBER Working Papers 13367, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Fosu, Augustin Kwasi, 1992. "Political Instability and Economic Growth: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(4), pages 829-41, July.
  8. Paul Collier, 2000. "Ethnicity, Politics and Economic Performance," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 225-245, November.
  9. Augustin Kwasi Fosu, 2002. "Political Instability and Economic Growth: Implications of Coup Events in Sub-Saharan Africa," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 329-348, 01.
  10. Augstin Kwasi Fosu, 2003. "Political Instability and Export Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(4), pages 68-83.
  11. FOSU, Augustin Kwasi, 2008. "Democracy and growth in Africa: Implications of increasing electoral competitiveness," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 100(3), pages 442-444, September.
  12. Fearon, James D, 2003. " Ethnic and Cultural Diversity by Country," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 195-222, June.
  13. Ghura, Dhaneshwar & Grennes, Thomas J., 1993. "The real exchange rate and macroeconomic performance in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 155-174, October.
  14. Easterly, William, 2001. "Can Institutions Resolve Ethnic Conflict?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(4), pages 687-706, July.
  15. Gyimah-Brempong, Kwabena & Traynor, Thomas L, 1999. "Political Instability, Investment and Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 8(1), pages 52-86, March.
  16. Barry P. Bosworth & Susan M. Collins, 2003. "The Empirics of Growth: An Update," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(2), pages 113-206.
  17. Ndulu,Benno J. & O'Connell,Stephen A. & Bates,Robert H. & Collier,Paul & Soludo,Chukwuma C., 2009. "The Political Economy of Economic Growth in Africa, 1960–2000," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521127752.
  18. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
  19. Kwabena Gyimah-Brempong & Marva E. Corley, 2005. "Civil Wars and Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa1," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 14(2), pages 270-311, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Asongu, Simplice, 2014. "On the substitution of institutions and finance in investment," MPRA Paper 56814, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Asongu Simplice, 2014. "Knowledge Economy and Financial Sector Competition in African Countries," Working Papers 14/006, African Governance and Development Institute..
  3. Asongu Simplice, 2014. "A Development Consensus reconciling the Beijing Model and Washington Consensus: Views and Agenda," Working Papers 14/013, African Governance and Development Institute..
  4. Asongu Simplice, 2014. "Knowledge Economy Gaps, Policy Syndromes and Catch-up Strategies: Fresh South Korean Lessons to Africa," Working Papers 14/014, African Governance and Development Institute..
  5. Asongu Simplice & Nguena Christian, 2014. "Equitable and Sustainable Development of Foreign Land Acquisitions: what have we learnt on policy syndromes and implications?," Working Papers 14/001, African Governance and Development Institute..
  6. Asongu Simplice, 2014. "The Evolving Debate on the Effect of Foreign Aid on Corruption and Institutions in Africa," Working Papers 14/009, African Governance and Development Institute..

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