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Geography, Institutions, and Compared Development in Africa

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  • Luís Vaz Silva

    (University College of Dublin)

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    Abstract

    Recent years have seen a significant improvement in the economic performance of some African countries. The resulting increased dispersion in income levels across Africa, combined with the pertinence of detecting regional role models renders an intra-African analysis more attractive. In this paper I estimate the respective contribution of institutions, geography, and policies in determining income levels in sub-Saharan Africa. I find that income per capita in this region can be explained to a large extent with a few variables - quality of economic institutions, trade, population density in the 19th century, investment, mineral resources, and a dummy variable for small island nations. Contrary to other regions in the world, some policy variables remain significant after controlling for institutions in Africa. Measures of geography (climate, disease ecology, rainfall) have no direct effect on income levels once institutional quality is controlled for.

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    File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/economics/research/papers/2007/WP07.04.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2007
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by School Of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 200704.

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    Length: 46 pages
    Date of creation: 14 May 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:200704

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