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Middle Class in Africa: Determinants and Consequences

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  • Oasis Kodila-Tedika
  • Simplice A. Asongu
  • Julio Mukendi Kayembe

Abstract

This study complements the inclusive growth literature by examining the determinants and consequences of the middle class in a continent where economic growth has been relatively high. The empirical evidence is based on a sample of 33 African countries for a 2010 cross-sectional study. Ordinary least squares, two-stage-least squares, three-stage-least squares and seemingly unrelated regressions estimation techniques are employed to regress a plethora of middle class indicators, notably, the: floating, middle-class with floating, middle-class without floating, lower-middle-income and upper-middle-income categories. Results can be classified into two main strands. First, results on determinants broadly show that GDP per capita and education positively affect all middle class dependent variables. However, we establish a negative nexus for the effect of ethnic fragmentation, political stability in general and partially for economic vulnerability. Simple positive correlations have been observed for: the size of the informal sector, openness and democracy. Second, on the consequences, the middle class enables the accumulation of human and infrastructural capital, while its effect is null on political stability and democracy in the short run but positive for governance and modernisation. Policy implications are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Oasis Kodila-Tedika & Simplice A. Asongu & Julio Mukendi Kayembe, 2016. "Middle Class in Africa: Determinants and Consequences," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(4), pages 527-549, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:intecj:v:30:y:2016:i:4:p:527-549
    DOI: 10.1080/10168737.2016.1204340
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    5. Simplice A. Asongu & Jacinta C. Nwachukwu, 2016. "Mobile Phone Penetration, Mobile Banking and Inclusive Development in Africa," The African Finance Journal, Africagrowth Institute, vol. 18(1), pages 34-52.
    6. Simplice Asongu & Joseph Nnanna, 2020. "Inclusive human development in sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 14(2), pages 183-200, April.
    7. Simplice A. Asongu & Oasis Kodila-Tedika, 2018. "Institutions and Poverty: A Critical Comment Based on Evolving Currents and Debates," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 139(1), pages 99-117, August.
    8. Simplice Asongu & Sara le Roux, 2018. "Understanding Sub-Saharan Africa’s Extreme Poverty Tragedy," Working Papers of the African Governance and Development Institute. 18/012, African Governance and Development Institute..
    9. Asongu, Simplice A. & Nwachukwu, Jacinta C., 2017. "Quality of Growth Empirics: Comparative gaps, benchmarking and policy syndromes," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 861-882.
    10. Simplice Asongu & Sara le Roux, 2018. "Understanding Sub-Saharan Africa’s Extreme Poverty Tragedy," AFEA Working Papers 18/010, African Finance and Economic Association (AFEA).
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    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

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