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Africa is on time

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Listed:
  • Maxim Pinkovskiy
  • Xavier Sala-i-Martin

    ()

Abstract

We present evidence that the recent African growth renaissance has reached Africa’s poor. Using survey data on African income distributions and national accounts GDP, we estimate income distributions, poverty rates, and inequality indices for African countries for the period 1990–2011. We show that: (1) African poverty is falling rapidly; (2) the African countries for which good inequality data exists are set to reach the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) poverty target on time. The entire continent except for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will reach the MDG in 2014, one year in advance, and adding the DRC will delay the MDG until 2018; (3) the growth spurt that began in 1995, if anything, decreased African income inequality instead of increasing it; (4) African poverty reduction is remarkably general: it cannot be explained by a large country, or even by a single set of countries possessing some beneficial geographical or historical characteristic. All classes of countries, including those with disadvantageous geography and history, experience reductions in poverty. In particular, poverty fell for both landlocked as well as coastal countries; for mineral-rich as well as mineral-poor countries; for countries with favorable or with unfavorable agriculture; for countries regardless of colonial origin; and for countries with below- or above-median slave exports per capita during the African slave trade. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Maxim Pinkovskiy & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2014. "Africa is on time," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 311-338, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jecgro:v:19:y:2014:i:3:p:311-338
    DOI: 10.1007/s10887-014-9103-y
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Nathan Nunn, 2008. "The Long-term Effects of Africa's Slave Trades," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(1), pages 139-176.
    2. Robert C. Feenstra & Robert Inklaar & Marcel P. Timmer, 2015. "The Next Generation of the Penn World Table," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(10), pages 3150-3182, October.
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    4. David E. Bloom & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1998. "Geography, Demography, and Economic Growth in Africa," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 207-296.
    5. Alwyn Young, 2012. "The African Growth Miracle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(4), pages 696-739.
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    7. François Bourguignon & Christian Morrisson, 2002. "Inequality Among World Citizens: 1820-1992," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 727-744, September.
    8. Easterly, William, 2009. "How the Millennium Development Goals are Unfair to Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 26-35, January.
    9. Johnson, Simon & Larson, William & Papageorgiou, Chris & Subramanian, Arvind, 2013. "Is newer better? Penn World Table Revisions and their impact on growth estimates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 255-274.
    10. World Bank, 2012. "World Development Indicators 2012," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6014, August.
    11. Shaohua Chen & Martin Ravallion, 2010. "The Developing World is Poorer than We Thought, But No Less Successful in the Fight Against Poverty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1577-1625.
    12. Meredith Reid Sarkees & Phil Schafer, 2000. "The Correlates of War Data On War: an Update To 1997," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 18(1), pages 123-144, February.
    13. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2006. "The World Distribution of Income: Falling Poverty and … Convergence, Period," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 351-397.
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    15. repec:wbk:wbpubs:28198 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Alwyn Young, 2012. "The African Growth Miracle," NBER Working Papers 18490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. repec:hrv:faseco:30747160 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Maxim Pinkovskiy & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2009. "Parametric Estimations of the World Distribution of Income," NBER Working Papers 15433, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic growth; Poverty; Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • F63 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Economic Development
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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