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Growth of African Economies: Productivity, Policy Syndromes and the Importance of Institutions

  • Augustin Kwasi Fosu

Recent evidence from an exhaustive political-economy study of growth of African economies—the Growth Project of the African Economic Research Consortium—suggests that ‘policy syndromes’ have substantially contributed to the generally poor growth in Sub-Saharan Africa during post-independence. The current article employs the unique data and insights generated by the Growth Project to further explore the importance of a ‘syndrome-free’ (SF) regime for growth in the region by examining: (i) the channels via which SF affects growth: total factor productivity versus factors of production and (ii) the role of institutions in mediating this impact, with special attention accorded to the efficacy of the restraint on the executive branch of government in mitigating the potentially adverse effect of ethnicity. Copyright 2013 , Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE) in its journal Journal of African Economies.

Volume (Year): 22 (2013)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 523-551

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:22:y:2013:i:4:p:523-551
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  1. Ghura, Dhaneshwar & Grennes, Thomas J., 1993. "The real exchange rate and macroeconomic performance in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 155-174, October.
  2. Augstin Kwasi Fosu, 2003. "Political Instability and Export Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(4), pages 68-83.
  3. Azam, Jean-Paul, 1995. " How to Pay for the Peace? A Theoretical Framework with References to African Countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 83(1-2), pages 173-84, April.
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  6. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  7. Augustin Kwasi Fosu, 2002. "Political Instability and Economic Growth: Implications of Coup Events in Sub-Saharan Africa," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 329-348, 01.
  8. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521127752 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Mwangi S. Kimenyi, 2003. "Ethnicity, Governance and the Provision of Public Goods," Working papers 2003-49, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  10. Kwabena Gyimah-Brempong & Marva E. Corley, 2005. "Civil Wars and Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa1," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 14(2), pages 270-311, June.
  11. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1995. "Institutions and Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Indicators," MPRA Paper 23118, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Easterly, William, 2000. "Can institutions resolve ethnic conflict ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2482, The World Bank.
  13. FOSU, Augustin Kwasi, 2008. "Democracy and growth in Africa: Implications of increasing electoral competitiveness," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(3), pages 442-444, September.
  14. Barry P. Bosworth & Susan M. Collins, 2003. "The Empirics of Growth: An Update," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(2), pages 113-206.
  15. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
  16. Gyimah-Brempong, Kwabena & Traynor, Thomas L, 1999. "Political Instability, Investment and Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 8(1), pages 52-86, March.
  17. Paul Collier, 2000. "Ethnicity, Politics and Economic Performance," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 225-245, November.
  18. Fosu, Augustin Kwasi, 1992. "Political Instability and Economic Growth: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(4), pages 829-41, July.
  19. Fearon, James D, 2003. " Ethnic and Cultural Diversity by Country," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 195-222, June.
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