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Economic Convergence in the African Continent: Closing the Gap

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  • Faiza A. Khan

Abstract

The paper attempts to analyse the conditional β-convergence and its sources for 32 African countries over the period 1960-2008. The augmented Solow model with both gross domestic product (GDP) per worker and per capita income is estimated using the dynamic system generalized methods of moments (GMM) technique with the panel data. This is the first study on the sources of conditional β-convergence for African countries. According to the results of the augmented Solow model, income convergence rates are lower than those of GDP per worker. Moreover, total factor productivity convergence, human capital convergence and capital labour convergence are contributing towards the convergence of GDP per worker in Africa. This means that growth in the poorest African countries is being augmented by “catch-up factor,” which is good news for them. However, convergence in terms of GDP per worker is not being fully translated into income per capita convergence. The demographic structure in the African continent with its record of persistent population growth has played an important role in lowering the income convergence of its countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Faiza A. Khan, 2014. "Economic Convergence in the African Continent: Closing the Gap," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 82(3), pages 354-370, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:sajeco:v:82:y:2014:i:3:p:354-370
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/saje.12032
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