IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/jecper/v13y1999i3p3-22.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Why Has Africa Grown Slowly?

Author

Listed:
  • Paul Collier
  • Jan Willem Gunning

Abstract

We distinguish between policy and "destiny" explanations of Africa's slow growth during the past three decades. Policies were poor: high export taxation and inefficient public service delivery, and "destiny" was adverse: landlocked, tropical locations, and terms of trade deterioration. During the 1990s, Africa's economic policies improved, although with considerable variation both between countries and between policies: trade and exchange rate policies improved much more than service delivery. Thus, the differing explanations of past slow growth imply different predictions for growth in the coming decade. We argue that poor public economic services are likely to be the binding constraint.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Collier & Jan Willem Gunning, 1999. "Why Has Africa Grown Slowly?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:13:y:1999:i:3:p:3-22
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.13.3.3
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.13.3.3
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
    2. Jan Willem Gunning & Paul Collier, 1999. "Explaining African Economic Performance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 64-111, March.
    3. Kyu Sik Lee & Anas, Alex, 1989. "Manufacturers'responses to infrastructure deficiencies in Nigeria : private alternatives and policy options," Policy Research Working Paper Series 325, The World Bank.
    4. Deaton, Angus & Miller, Ron, 1996. "International Commodity Prices, Macroeconomic Performance and Politics in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 5(3), pages 99-191, October.
    5. McCallum, John, 1995. "National Borders Matter: Canada-U.S. Regional Trade Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 615-623, June.
    6. Marcel Fafchamps Jan Willem Gunning & Remco Oostendorp, "undated". "Inventories, Liquidity, and Contractual Risk in African Manufacturing," Working Papers 97020, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
    7. Dercon, Stefan, 1998. "Wealth, risk and activity choice: cattle in Western Tanzania," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 1-42, February.
    8. David Dollar & Craig Burnside, 2000. "Aid, Policies, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 847-868, September.
    9. Schuknecht, Ludger, 1999. "Tying Governments' Hands in Commodity Taxation," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 8(2), pages 152-181, July.
    10. Dercon, Stefan, 1993. "Peasant Supply Response and Macroeconomic Policies: Cotton in Tanzania," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 2(2), pages 157-194, October.
    11. Susan M. Collins & Barry P. Bosworth, 1996. "Economic Growth in East Asia: Accumulation versus Assimilation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(2), pages 135-204.
    12. R. L. Voortman & B. G. J. S. Sonneveld & M. A. Keyzer, 2000. "African Land Ecology: Opportunities and Constraints for Agricultural Development," CID Working Papers 37, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    13. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
    14. Sachs, Jeffrey D & Warner, Andrew M, 1997. "Sources of Slow Growth in African Economies," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 6(3), pages 335-376, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:13:y:1999:i:3:p:3-22. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael P. Albert). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.