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Is Africa a Net Creditor? New Estimates of Capital Flight from Severely Indebted Sub-Saharan African Countries, 1970-96


  • J. K. Boyce
  • L. Ndikumana


This article presents estimates of capital flight from 25 low-income sub-Saharan African countries in the period 1970 to 1996. Capital flight totaled more than $193 billion (in 1996 dollars); with imputed interest earnings, the accumulated stock of flight capital amounts to $285 billion. The combined external debt of these countries stood at $178 billion in 1996. Taking capital flight as a measure of private external assets, and calculating net external assets as private external assets minus public external debts, sub-Saharan Africa thus appears to be a net creditor vis-a-vis the rest of the world.

Suggested Citation

  • J. K. Boyce & L. Ndikumana, 2001. "Is Africa a Net Creditor? New Estimates of Capital Flight from Severely Indebted Sub-Saharan African Countries, 1970-96," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(2), pages 27-56.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:38:y:2001:i:2:p:27-56
    DOI: 10.1080/00220380412331322261

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Antonio Spilimbergo & Gordon H. Hanson, 1999. "Illegal Immigration, Border Enforcement, and Relative Wages: Evidence from Apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico Border," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1337-1357, December.
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