Technology trap and poverty trap in Sub-Saharan Africa
AbstractSince the industrial revolution, advances in science and technology have continuously accounted for most of the growth and wealth accumulation in leading industrialized economies. In recent years, the contribution of technological progress to growth and welfare improvement has increased even further, especially with the globalization process which has been characterized by exponential growth in exports of manufactured goods. This paper establishes the existence of a technology trap in Sub-Saharan Africa. It shows that the widening income and welfare gap between Sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of world is largely accounted for by the technology trap responsible for the poverty trap. This result is supported by empirical evidence which suggests that if countries in Sub-Saharan Africa were using the same level of technology enjoyed by industrialized countries income levels in Sub-Saharan Africa would be significantly higher. The result is robust, even after controlling for institutional, macroeconomic instability and volatility factors. Consistent with standard one-sector neoclassical growth models, this suggests that uniform convergence to a worldwide technology frontier may lead to income convergence in the spherical space. Overcoming the technology trap in Sub-Saharan Africa may therefore be essential to achieving the Millennium Development Goals and evolving toward global convergence in the process of economic development.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4582.
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2008
Date of revision:
Technology Industry; Economic Theory&Research; Achieving Shared Growth; ICT Policy and Strategies; E-Business;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-09-13 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2008-09-13 (Development)
- NEP-HAP-2008-09-13 (Economics of Happiness)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Chris Papageorgiou & Fidel Perez-Sebastian, . "Human Capital and Convergence in a Non-Scale R&D Growth Model," Departmental Working Papers 2002-10, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
- Sachs, J-D & Warner, A-M, 1996.
"Sources of Slow Growth in African Economies,"
545, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
- Shahid Yusuf & Kaoru Nabeshima, 2007. "How Universities Promote Economic Growth," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6631, January.
- Quah, Danny T, 1997. " Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 27-59, March.
- Akyuz, Yilmaz & Gore, Charles, 2001. "African Economic Development in a Comparative Perspective," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(3), pages 265-88, May.
- Mansfield, Edwin, 1980. "Basic Research and Productivity Increase in Manufacturing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 863-73, December.
- Richard R. Nelson & Edmond S. Phelps, 1965. "Investment in Humans, Technological Diffusion and Economic Growth," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 189, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Boyan Jovanovic & Yaw Nyarko, 1994.
"Learning By Doing and the Choice of Technology,"
NBER Working Papers
4739, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Battese, G E & Coelli, T J, 1995. "A Model for Technical Inefficiency Effects in a Stochastic Frontier Production Function for Panel Data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 325-32.
- Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2003.
"Exporting Raises Productivity in Sub-Saharan African Manufacturing Plants,"
NBER Working Papers
10020, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Van Biesebroeck, Johannes, 2005. "Exporting raises productivity in sub-Saharan African manufacturing firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 373-391, December.
- Quah, Danny T, 1996.
"Twin Peaks: Growth and Convergence in Models of Distribution Dynamics,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 1045-55, July.
- Quah, Danny, 1996. "Twin Peaks: Growth and Convergence in Models of Distribution Dynamics," CEPR Discussion Papers 1355, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Robert E. Lucas, 2009.
"Trade and the Diffusion of the Industrial Revolution,"
American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics,
American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 1-25, January.
- Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 2007. "Trade and the Diffusion of the Industrial Revolution," NBER Working Papers 13286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Costas Aariadis & John Stachurski, 2004.
Department of Economics - Working Papers Series
913, The University of Melbourne.
- Pianta, Mario, 1995. "Technology and Growth in OECD Countries, 1970-1990," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 175-87, February.
- Danny Quah, 1996. "Twin peaks : growth and convergence in models of distribution dynamics," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2278, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- King, R.G. & Rebelo, S.T., 1989.
"Transitional Dynamics And Economic Growth In The Neoclassical Model,"
RCER Working Papers
206, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- King, Robert G & Rebelo, Sergio T, 1993. "Transitional Dynamics and Economic Growth in the Neoclassical Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 908-31, September.
- Robert G. King & Sergio T. Rebelo, 1995. "Transitional Dynamics and Economic Growth in the Neoclassical Model," NBER Working Papers 3185, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Yaw Nyarko, 2006. "Economic Development as Problem Solving," 2006 Meeting Papers 893, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Gittleman, Maury B & Wolff, Edward N, 1995. "R&D Activity and Cross-Country Growth Comparisons," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 189-207, February.
- Easterlin, Richard A., 1981. "Why Isn't the Whole World Developed?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(01), pages 1-17, March.
- Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997.
"Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
- Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
- Jyotsna Jalan & Martin Ravallion, 1998. "Geographic Poverty Traps?," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 86, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
- Danny Quah, 1996. "Twin Peaks: Growth and Convergence in Models of Distribution Dynamics," CEP Discussion Papers dp0280, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Robert J. Barro, 1991.
"Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth,"
NBER Working Papers
2588, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Barro, Robert J, 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S103-26, October.
- Barro, Robert J., 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogeneous Growth," Scholarly Articles 3451296, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Barro, R.J., 1988. "Government Spending In A Simple Model Of Endogenous Growth," RCER Working Papers 130, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- Richard Kneller & Philip Andrew Stevens, 2002. "The Role of Efficiency as an Explanation of International Income Differences," NIESR Discussion Papers 205, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
- Chen, Shaohua & Ravallion, Martin, 2004.
"How Have the World's Poorest Fared Since the Early 1980s?,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
3341, The World Bank.
- Shaohua Chen & Martin Ravallion, 2004. "How Have the World's Poorest Fared since the Early 1980s?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 19(2), pages 141-169.
- Parente, Stephen L & Prescott, Edward C, 1994. "Barriers to Technology Adoption and Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 298-321, April.
- Bloom, David E & Canning, David & Sevilla, Jaypee, 2003. " Geography and Poverty Traps," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 355-78, December.
- Kraay, Aart & Raddatz, Claudio, 2007.
"Poverty traps, aid, and growth,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 315-347, March.
- Yisheng Bu, 2006. "Fixed capital stock depreciation in developing countries: Some evidence from firm level data," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(5), pages 881-901.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001.
"The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Sanjeev Gupta & Catherine A. Pattillo & Kevin Joseph Carey, 2005. "Sustaining Growth Accelerations and Pro-Poor Growth in Africa," IMF Working Papers 05/195, International Monetary Fund.
- Quah, Danny, 1997. "Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," CEPR Discussion Papers 1586, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Azariadis, Costas & Drazen, Allan, 1990. "Threshold Externalities in Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 501-26, May.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.