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A statistical approach to identifying poorly performing countries

  • Edward Anderson
  • Oliver Morrissey

This paper asks whether it is possible to identify, using purely statistical criteria on widely available quantitative data, a set of developing countries that can be classified as poor performers. We restrict attention to two performance indicators, economic growth and infant mortality, over two periods 1980-90 and 1990-2000, and use four different statistical criteria to identify poor performance. The main finding is that very few countries consistently appear as poor performers: those that perform poorly on one indicator, or in one period, typically do not perform poorly on/in the other. A similar result is obtained in the context of identifying, on statistical grounds, good performers. The research cautions against labelling countries as poor performers without careful qualification.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Development Studies.

Volume (Year): 42 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 469-489

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:42:y:2006:i:3:p:469-489
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  1. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2002. " Growth Is Good for the Poor," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 195-225, September.
  2. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
  3. Paul Collier & Jan Willem Gunning, 1998. "Explaining African economic performance," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/1997-02.2, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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