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Lost Decades: Postindependence Performance in Latin America and Africa

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  • Bates, Robert H.
  • Coatsworth, John H.
  • Williamson, Jeffrey G.

Abstract

Africa and Latin America secured independence from European colonial rule a century and half apart: most of Latin America by the 1820s and most of Africa by 1960. Despite the distance in time and space, they share important similarities. In each case independence was followed by political instability, violent conflict, and economic stagnation lasting for about a half-century. The parallels suggest that Africa might be exiting from a period of postimperial collapse and entering one of relative political stability and economic growth, as did Latin America almost two centuries ago.
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Suggested Citation

  • Bates, Robert H. & Coatsworth, John H. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2007. "Lost Decades: Postindependence Performance in Latin America and Africa," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 67(04), pages 917-943, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:67:y:2007:i:04:p:917-943_00
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Elsa V. Artadi & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2003. "The Economic Tragedy of the XXth Century: Growth in Africa," NBER Working Papers 9865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Ndulu,Benno J. & O'Connell,Stephen A. & Bates,Robert H. & Collier,Paul & Soludo,Chukwuma C., 2009. "The Political Economy of Economic Growth in Africa, 1960–2000," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521127752.
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    Cited by:

    1. Aguirre, Alvaro, 2016. "The risk of civil conflicts as a determinant of political institutions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 36-59.
    2. Leandro Prados de la Escosura, 2012. "Output Per Head In Pre-Independence Africa: Quantitative Conjectures," Economic History of Developing Regions, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(2), pages 1-36, December.
    3. Manoel Bittencourt, 2013. "Democracy and Education: Evidence from the Southern African Development Community," Working Papers 201387, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    4. Prados de la Escosura, Leandro, 2013. "Human development in Africa: A long-run perspective," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 179-204.
    5. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2009. "Five Centuries of Latin American Inequality," NBER Working Papers 15305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Andreas Assiotis, 2013. "Does Democratization Spur Growth? An Examination over Time and Space," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 04-2013, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
    7. Álvaro Aguirre, 2013. "Rebellions, Technical Change, and the Early Development of Political Institutions in Latin America," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 688, Central Bank of Chile.
    8. Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2009. "History without evidence: Latin American inequality since 1491," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 81, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    9. Broadberry, Stephen & Gardner, Leigh, 2013. "Africa's Growth Prospects in a European mirror: a Historical Perspective," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 172, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    10. Manoel Bittencourt, 2014. "Education and Fertility: Panel Time-Series Evidence from Southern Africa," Working Papers 431, Economic Research Southern Africa.
    11. Strulik, Holger, 2012. "Poverty, voracity, and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 396-403.
    12. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2015. "Latin American Inequality: Colonial Origins, Commodity Booms, or a Missed 20th Century Leveling?," NBER Working Papers 20915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2010. "Latin American Growth-Inequality Trade-Offs: The Impact of Insurgence and Independence," NBER Working Papers 15680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Reynaerts, Jo & Vanschoonbeek, Jakob, 2016. "The Economics of State Fragmentation - Assessing the Economic Impact of Secession," MPRA Paper 69681, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Frankema, Ewout & Waijenburg, Marlous Van, 2012. "Structural Impediments to African Growth? New Evidence from Real Wages in British Africa, 1880–1965," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(04), pages 895-926, December.
    16. Crafts, Nicholas & O’Rourke, Kevin Hjortshøj, 2014. "Twentieth Century Growth*This research has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) / ERC grant agreement no. 249546.," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 6, pages 263-346 Elsevier.
    17. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2009. "History without Evidence: Latin American Inequality since 1491," NBER Working Papers 14766, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. repec:got:cegedp:81 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Manuel Llorca-Jaña, 2014. "The impact of early nineteenth-century globalization on foreign trade in the Southern Cone: A study of British trade statistics," Investigaciones de Historia Económica (IHE) Journal of the Spanish Economic History Association, Asociacion Espa–ola de Historia Economica, vol. 10(01), pages 46-56.
    20. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2009. "History without Evidence: Latin American Inequality since 1491," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 3, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    21. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2008. "Globalization and the Great Divergence: Terms of Trade Booms and Volatility in the Poor Periphery 1782-1913," Working Papers 08-07, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC).
    22. Manoel Bittencourt, 2014. "Primary Education and Fertility Rates in Southern Africa: Evidence from Before the Demographic Transition," Working Papers 201404, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.

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