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Explaining African Economic Performance

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  • Jan Willem Gunning
  • Paul Collier

Abstract

Africa has had slow growth and a massive exodus of capital. In many respects it has been the most capital-hostile region. We review and interpret the aggregate-level and microeconomic literatures to identify the key explanations for this performance. There is a reasonable correspondence of the two sets of evidence, pointing to four factors as being important. These are a lack of openness to international trade; a high-risk environment; a low level of social capital; and poor infrastructure. These problems are to a substantial extent attributable to government behavior, and the paper includes a review of the political economy literature addressing that behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Willem Gunning & Paul Collier, 1999. "Explaining African Economic Performance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 64-111, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:37:y:1999:i:1:p:64-111
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jel.37.1.64
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries

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