IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Human development in Africa: A long-run perspective

  • Prados de la Escosura, Leandro

Long-run trends in Africa's wellbeing are provided on the basis of a new index of human development, alternative to the UNDP's HDI. A long-run improvement in African human development is found that it falls short of those experienced in other developing regions. A closer look at Africa reveals the distinctive behaviour north and south of the Sahara, with Sub-Saharan Africa falling behind other developing regions and North Africa catching up. Education has been human development's driving force over time. Since the late 1980s, stagnating life expectancy largely due to the spread of HIV/AIDS and the arresting effect of economic mismanagement and political turmoil on growth, help to explain Africa's falling behind. Human development advancement since the mid-twentieth century is positively associated to being a coastal and resource-rich country and negatively to political–economic distortions. The large country variance of the recovery during the last decade suggests being cautious about the future's prospects.

If 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.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014498313000028
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Explorations in Economic History.

Volume (Year): 50 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 179-204

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:50:y:2013:i:2:p:179-204
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622830

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Bertocchi, Graziella & Canova, Fabio, 2002. "Did colonization matter for growth?: An empirical exploration into the historical causes of Africa's underdevelopment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(10), pages 1851-1871, December.
  2. David Canning, 2012. "Progress in Health around the World," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(12), pages 1784-1798, December.
  3. Ewout H.P. Frankema, 2012. "The origins of formal education in sub-Saharan Africa: was British rule more benign?," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(4), pages 335-355, November.
  4. Sagar, Ambuj D. & Najam, Adil, 1998. "The human development index: a critical review," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 249-264, June.
  5. Zachary Gidwitz & Martin Philipp Heger & José Pineda & Francisco Rodríguez, 2010. "Understanding Performance in Human Development: A Cross-National Study," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2010-42, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  6. Sue Bowden & Blessing Chiripanhura & Paul Mosley, 2008. "Measuring and explaining poverty in six African countries: A long-period approach," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(8), pages 1049-1079.
  7. R. C. Allen & J. L. Weisdorf, 2011. "Was there an ‘industrious revolution’ before the industrial revolution? An empirical exercise for England, c. 1300–1830," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 64(3), pages 715-729, 08.
  8. Cogneau, Denis & Moradi, Alexander, 2013. "Borders that Divide: Education and Religion in Ghana and Togo since Colonial Times," African Economic History Working Paper 4/2012, African Economic History Network.
  9. Bates, Robert H. & Coatsworth, John H. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2007. "Lost Decades: Postindependence Performance in Latin America and Africa," Scholarly Articles 12211559, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. François Bourguignon & Christian Morrisson, 2001. "Inequality among World Citizens : 1820-1992," DELTA Working Papers 2001-18, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  11. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2009. "Schooling, Cognitive Skills, and the Latin American Growth Puzzle," CESifo Working Paper Series 2667, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Dora Costa & Richard H. Steckel, 1997. "Long-Term Trends in Health, Welfare, and Economic Growth in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Health and Welfare during Industrialization, pages 47-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Moradi, Alexander, 2010. "Nutritional status and economic development in sub-Saharan Africa, 1950-1980," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 16-29, March.
  14. Dasgupta, Partha, 1990. "Well-Being and the Extent of Its Realisation in Poor Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(400), pages 1-32, Supplemen.
  15. Prados de la Escosura, Leandro, 2010. "Improving Human Development: A Long-run View," CEPR Discussion Papers 7982, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Facundo Alvaredo & Anthony B Atkinson, 2010. "Colonial Rule, Apartheid and Natural Resources: Top Incomes in South Africa 1903-2005," OxCarre Working Papers 046, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  17. James C. Riley, 2005. "Estimates of Regional and Global Life Expectancy, 1800-2001," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 31(3), pages 537-543.
  18. Easterlin, Richard A., 1999. "How beneficent is the market? A look at the modern history of mortality," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(03), pages 257-294, December.
  19. Morten Jerven, 2013. "Comparability of GDP estimates in Sub-Saharan Africa: The effect of Revisions in Sources and Methods Since Structural Adjustment," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 59, pages S16-S36, October.
  20. Merwan Engineer & Nilanjana Roy & Sari Fink, 2010. "“Healthy” Human Development Indices," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 99(1), pages 61-80, October.
  21. James C. Riley, 2005. "The Timing and Pace of Health Transitions around the World," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 31(4), pages 741-764.
  22. Alexander Moradi, 2008. "Confronting colonial legacies-lessons from human development in Ghana and Kenya, 1880-2000," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(8), pages 1107-1121.
  23. Marc Flandreau & Stefano Ugolini, 2011. "Where It All Began: Lending of Last Resort and the Bank of England During the Overend, Gurney Panic of 1866," Working Papers 0007, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
  24. Ravallion, Martin, 2010. "Troubling tradeoffs in the Human Development Index," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5484, The World Bank.
  25. Nunn, Nathan, 2007. "The Long-Term Effects of Africa's Slave Trades," MPRA Paper 4134, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  26. Easterly, William, 1999. " Life during Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 239-76, September.
  27. Fernando Mendiola Gonzalo, 2011. "Forced Labour in Franco's Spain: Workforce Supply, Profits and Productivity," Working Papers 0004, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
  28. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong Wha, 2013. "A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 184-198.
  29. Srinivasan, T N, 1994. "Human Development: A New Paradigm or Reinvention of the Wheel?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 238-43, May.
  30. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521808781 is not listed on IDEAS
  31. David Cutler & Grant Miller, 2005. "The role of public health improvements in health advances: The twentieth-century United States," Demography, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 1-22, February.
  32. Pim de Zwart, 2011. "Real wages at the Cape of Good Hope: A long-term perspective, 1652-1912," Working Papers 0013, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
  33. David Mayer-Foulkes, 2010. "Divergences and Convergences in Human Development," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2010-20, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  34. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521821742 is not listed on IDEAS
  35. Kakwani, N., 1993. "Performance in living standards : An international comparison," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 307-336, August.
  36. Denis Cogneau & Léa Rouanet, 2009. "Living Conditions in Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Western Africa 1925-1985: What Do Survey Data on Height Stature Tell Us?," Working Papers DT/2009/12, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  37. Sue Bowden & Paul Mosley, 2012. "Politics, Public Expenditure and the Evolution of Poverty in Africa 1920-2009," Working Papers 2012003, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
  38. Javier Silvestre & Ma Isabel Ayuda & Vicente Pinilla, 2011. "The Labor Market Integration of Migrants: Barcelona, 1930," Working Papers 0003, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
  39. M. Fleurbaey., 2012. "Beyond GDP: The Quest for a Measure of Social Welfare," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 3.
  40. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521616416 is not listed on IDEAS
  41. Seema Jayachandran & Adriana Lleras-Muney & Kimberly V. Smith, 2010. "Modern Medicine and the Twentieth Century Decline in Mortality: Evidence on the Impact of Sulfa Drugs," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 118-46, April.
  42. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521850919 is not listed on IDEAS
  43. Sudhir Anand & Amartya Sen, 2000. "The Income Component of the Human Development Index," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 83-106.
  44. Leander Heldring & James A. Robinson, 2012. "Colonialism and Economic Development in Africa," NBER Working Papers 18566, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  45. Sudhir Anand and Amartya Sen, 2000. "The Income Component of Human Development Index," Human Development Occasional Papers (1992-2007) HDOCPA-2000-01, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  46. 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.
  47. Sen, Amartya, 1981. "Public Action and the Quality of Life in Developing Countries," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 43(4), pages 287-319, November.
  48. Desai, Meghnad, 1991. "Human development : Concepts and measurement," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(2-3), pages 350-357, April.
  49. Moradi, Alexander & Baten, Joerg, 2005. "Inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa: New Data and New Insights from Anthropometric Estimates," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1233-1265, August.
  50. Morten Jerven, 2011. "Comparing colonial and post-colonial output: Challenges in estimating African economic change in the long run," Working Papers 0010, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
  51. Lars Sandberg & Richard H. Steckel, 1997. "Was Industrialization Hazardous to Your Health? Not in Sweden!," NBER Chapters, in: Health and Welfare during Industrialization, pages 127-160 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  52. Augustin Kwasi Fosu and Germano Mwabu, 2010. "Human Development in Africa," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2010-08, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  53. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521004886 is not listed on IDEAS
  54. Gareth Austin, 2008. "Resources, techniques, and strategies south of the Sahara: revising the factor endowments perspective on African economic development, 1500-2000 -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 61(3), pages 587-624, 08.
  55. Angus Maddison, 2006. "Asia in the World Economy 1500-2030 AD," Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University, vol. 20, pages 1-37, November.
  56. Robert Woods, 2007. "Ancient and early modern mortality: experience and understanding -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 60(2), pages 373-399, 05.
  57. Yousef, Tarik M, 2002. "Egypt's Growth Performance under Economic Liberalism: A Reassessment with New GDP Estimates, 1886-1945," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(4), pages 561-79, December.
  58. Paul Collier, 2000. "Ethnicity, Politics and Economic Performance," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 225-245, November.
  59. Kai-yuen Tsui, 1996. "Improvement indices of well-being (*)," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 291-303.
  60. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521529167 is not listed on IDEAS
  61. Akachi, Yoko & Canning, David, 2010. "Health trends in Sub-Saharan Africa: Conflicting evidence from infant mortality rates and adult heights," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 273-288, July.
  62. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521821759 is not listed on IDEAS
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:50:y:2013:i:2:p:179-204. 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: (Zhang, Lei)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.