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The Comparative Economics of Knowledge Economy in Africa: Policy Benchmarks, Syndromes, and Implications

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  • Simplice A. Asongu

    (African Governance and Development Institute)

Abstract

The paper complements the scarce literature on knowledge economy (KE) in Africa by comparing KE dynamics within Africa in order to assess best and worst performers based on fundamental characteristics of the continent’s development. The five dimensions of the World Bank’s Knowledge Economy Index (KEI) are employed, notably education, information and communication technology, innovation, economic incentives, and institutional regime. The empirical evidence is based on a five-step novel approach with data from 53 African countries for the period 1996–2010. Limitations of the beta catch-up approach are complemented with the sigma convergence strategy. Based on the determined fundamental characteristics, computed dynamic benchmarks, policy syndromes, and syndrome-free scenarios, we establish that landlocked, low-income, conflict-affected, Sub-Saharan African, nonoil-exporting, and French civil law countries are generally more predisposed to lower levels of KE, whereas English common law, openness to sea, absence of conflicts, North African, and middle-income countries are characteristics that predispose certain nations to higher KE. Broad and specific policy implications are discussed in detail.

Suggested Citation

  • Simplice A. Asongu, 2017. "The Comparative Economics of Knowledge Economy in Africa: Policy Benchmarks, Syndromes, and Implications," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 8(2), pages 596-637, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jknowl:v:8:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s13132-015-0273-4
    DOI: 10.1007/s13132-015-0273-4
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Knowledge economy; Benchmarks; Policy syndromes; Catch-up; Africa;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries

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