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Growth and Rent Dissipation: The Case of Kenya


  • Bigsten, Arne
  • Moene, Karl Ove


Poor growth performance in Kenya is rooted in the ruling elite's coalition-building to stay in power. To obtain loyal followers the public sector is over-manned. Dishonesty and rule-bending are allowed to develop within an administrative culture where politicians and top bureaucrats acquire private businesses and landholdings (straddling). Thus politics become coupled with corruption and particularistic business interests. We outline a stylized endogenous growth model to structure the discussion of why public sector surplus labor, corruption and straddling may be so harmful to economic growth in Kenya. Copyright 1996 by Oxford University Press.

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  • Bigsten, Arne & Moene, Karl Ove, 1996. "Growth and Rent Dissipation: The Case of Kenya," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 5(2), pages 177-198, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:5:y:1996:i:2:p:177-98

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Suresh de Mel & David McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2009. "Are Women More Credit Constrained? Experimental Evidence on Gender and Microenterprise Returns," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(3), pages 1-32, July.
    2. Angus Deaton, 2010. "Instruments, Randomization, and Learning about Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 424-455, June.
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    5. Jean-Paul Chavas & Ragan Petrie & Michael Roth, 2005. "Farm Household Production Efficiency: Evidence from The Gambia," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(1), pages 160-179.
    6. Mikael Lindahl & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Education for Growth: Why and for Whom?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1101-1136, December.
    7. Lisa A. Cameron & Christopher Worswick, 2003. "The Labor Market as a Smoothing Device: Labor Supply Responses to Crop Loss," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(2), pages 327-341, May.
    8. Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth, 2010. "Africa's education enigma? The Nigerian story," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 128-139, January.
    9. Psacharopoulos, George, 1994. "Returns to investment in education: A global update," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(9), pages 1325-1343, September.
    10. Siphambe, Happy Kufigwa, 2000. "Rates of return to education in Botswana," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 291-300, June.
    11. Harounan Kazianga, 2004. "Schooling Returns for Wage Earners in Burkina Faso: Evidence from the 1994 and 1998 National Surveys," Working Papers 892, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    12. Ito, Takahiro & Kurosaki, Takashi, 2006. "Weather Risk and the Off-­Farm Labor Supply of Agricultural Households in India," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25774, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
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    14. Yoko Kijima & Tomoya Matsumoto & Takashi Yamano, 2006. "Nonfarm employment, agricultural shocks, and poverty dynamics: evidence from rural Uganda," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 35(s3), pages 459-467, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mehlum, Halvor & Moene, Karl O. & Torvik, Ragnar, 2003. "Parasites," Memorandum 16/2003, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    2. Congdon Fors, Heather & Olsson, Ola, 2007. "Endogenous institutional change after independence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(8), pages 1896-1921, November.
    3. Bigsten, Arne, 1998. "Can Aid Generate Growth in Africa?," Working Papers in Economics 3, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    4. Bigsten , Arne & Levin, Jörgen, 2000. "Growth, Income Distribution, and Poverty: A Review," Working Papers in Economics 32, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    5. Bigsten, Arne, 2001. "Relevance of the Nordic Model for African Development," WIDER Working Paper Series 131, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. M Ncube, 2001. "The Crowding Out Effect In A Developing Country'S Labour Market," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 69(3), pages 474-500, September.
    7. Olsson, Ola, 2007. "Conflict diamonds," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 267-286, March.
    8. Mehlum, Halvor & Moene, Karl & Torvik, Ragnar, 2003. "Predator or prey?: Parasitic enterprises in economic development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 275-294, April.
    9. Bigsten, Arne & Durevall, Dick, 2002. "Is Globalisation Good for Africa?," Working Papers in Economics 67, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    10. Biru Paksha Paul, 2010. "Does corruption foster growth in Bangladesh?," International Journal of Development Issues, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 9(3), pages 246-262, September.
    11. Kalle Moene & Tina Søreide, 2015. "Good Governance Facades," CMI Working Papers 2, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
    12. Roumanias, Costas, 2007. "Is collusion of corrupt agents welfare increasing?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(3), pages 421-425, March.
    13. Susan-Rose Ackerman, 1997. "Corruption, Infefficiency and Economic Growth," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 24, pages 3-20.
    14. Farida, Moe & Ahmadi-Esfahani, Fredoun Z., 2008. "Corruption and economic growth in Lebanon," 2008 Conference (52nd), February 5-8, 2008, Canberra, Australia 6043, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    15. Bedasso, Biniam, 2012. "Lords of Uhuru: the political economy of elite competition and institutional change in post-independence Kenya," MERIT Working Papers 042, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    16. Adam, Christopher S. & O'Connell, Stephen A., 1998. "Aid, taxation, and development: analytical perspectives on aid effectiveness in Sub-Saharan Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1885, The World Bank.

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