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Institutions, Governance and Economic Development in Africa: An Overview

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  • Augustin Fosu
  • Robert Bates
  • Anke Hoeffler

Abstract

As poor policies are blamed for dismal economic outcomes in many African countries and institutions and governance have assumed greater importance in explaining policy making, this article overviews a set of papers appearing in the current volume on 'institutions, governance and economic development in Africa'. The following results emerge. First, while politically accountable governments can lead to improved economic outcomes, they are unlikely to adopt economically desirable policies that are unpopular with the populace. Unfortunately, such governments also tend to increase the risk of political disorder in Africa, which may in turn be growth-inhibiting. Thus, recent attempts by African countries to adopt more democratic governments may not lead to the expected improved growth and development outcomes unless successful attempts at minimising political disorder can be achieved. Second, the existence of ethnically based interest groups is likely to result in sub-optimal provision of public goods, which can be critical to the development process. Hence, the challenge of attenuating ethnic polarisation is a salient one. Third, as the Botswana case indicates, the ability to appropriately accommodate minority interests, coupled with the existence of external threats and natural resource endowments that foster the delineation of property rights, augers well for state building required for good governance, notwithstanding the existence of low population density. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Augustin Fosu & Robert Bates & Anke Hoeffler, 2006. "Institutions, Governance and Economic Development in Africa: An Overview," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(1), pages 1-9, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:15:y:2006:i:1:p:1-9
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    Cited by:

    1. Lopez-Uribe, Maria del Pilar & Castells-Quintana, David & McDermott, Thomas K. J., 2017. "Geography, institutions and development: a review ofthe long-run impacts of climate change," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 65147, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Isaac Addai & Jelena Pokimica, 2012. "An Exploratory Study of Trust and Material Hardship in Ghana," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 109(3), pages 413-438, December.
    3. Isaac Addai & Jelena Pokimica, 2010. "Ethnicity and Economic Well-Being: The Case of Ghana," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 99(3), pages 487-510, December.
    4. Simplice A. Asongu, 2014. "Knowledge Economy and Financial Sector Competition in African Countries," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 26(2), pages 333-346, June.
    5. Ranis, Gustav, 2011. "Diversity of Communities and Economic Development: An Overview," Working Papers 93, Yale University, Department of Economics.
    6. Céline Azémar & Rodolphe Desbordes, 2009. "Public Governance, Health and Foreign Direct Investment in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 18(4), pages 667-709, August.
    7. repec:ora:jrojbe:v:2:y:2017:i:2:p:27-36 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Gustav Ranis, 2009. "Diversity of Communities and Economic Development: An Overview," Working Papers 977, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    9. repec:mje:mjejnl:v:11:y:2015:i:2:p:49-64 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. B.P. Zaaruka & J.W. Fedderke, 2011. "Measuring Institutions: Indicators of Political and Economic Institutions in Namibia: 1884 - 2008," Working Papers 236, Economic Research Southern Africa.
    11. Gustav Ranis, 2011. "Diversity of Communities and Economic Development: An Overview," Working Papers 1001, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    12. David Castells-Quintana & Maria del Pilar Lopez-Uribe & Tom McDermott, 2015. "Climate change and the geographical and institutional drivers of economic development," GRI Working Papers 198, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    13. Bichaka Fayissa & Christian Nsiah, 2010. "The Impact of Governance on Economic Growth: Further Evidence for Africa," Working Papers 201012, Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Economics and Finance.
    14. Hearn, Bruce, 2011. "The impact of corporate governance measures on the performance of West African IPO firms," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 130-151, June.
    15. repec:spr:epolit:v:34:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s40888-017-0061-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Adler, Nicole & Yazhemsky, Ekaterina & Tarverdyan, Ruzanana, 2010. "A framework to measure the relative socio-economic performance of developing countries," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 73-88, June.
    17. Marta Orviska & Anetta Caplanova & John Hudson, 2014. "The Impact of Democracy on Well-being," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 115(1), pages 493-508, January.
    18. Ugur, Mehmet & Dasgupta, Nandini, 2011. "Corruption and economic growth: A meta-analysis of the evidence on low-income countries and beyond," MPRA Paper 31226, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 31 May 2011.

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