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Overlooking the Obvious in Africa

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  • Jane S. Shaw

Abstract

Collier and Gunning review approximately forty factors that have been offered as possible explanations for poor growth in sub-Saharan Africa. The authors conclude that “domestic policies largely unrelated to trade†may be the major factors holding back growth now. This comment, “Overlooking the Obvious in Africa,†contends that Collier and Gunning appear reluctant to identify the importance of institutional factors – especially economic freedom – in slowing economic growth in Africa. And, despite their listing many possible explanations, they curtly dismiss one important one – the role that foreign aid may be playing in perpetuating poor policies. Thus, the paper accepts all manner of lame theories while ignoring those that have stood the test of time. As a result, it offers little guidance on a critical development issue.

Suggested Citation

  • Jane S. Shaw, 2004. "Overlooking the Obvious in Africa," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 1(1), pages 1-10, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:1:y:2004:i:1:p:1-10
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jane S. Shaw, 1999. "Paul Samuelson and Development Economics: A Missed Opportunity," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 15(Fall 1999), pages 18-35.
    2. Shantayanan Devarajan & David R. Dollar & Torgny Holmgren, 2001. "Aid and Reform in Africa : Lessons from Ten Case Studies," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13894.
    3. anonymous, 2003. "Annual Fed report tracks bank fees and services," Financial Update, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q 3.
    4. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 1998. "On Economic Causes of Civil War," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 563-573, October.
    5. Tullock, Gordon, 1971. "Public Decisions as Public Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(4), pages 913-918, July-Aug..
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Africa; development economics; economic freedom; foreign aid.;

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy

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