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Rational Asymmetric Development, Piketty and Poverty in Africa

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  • Simplice Asongu

    () (Yaoundé/Cameroun)

  • Jacinta C. Nwachukwu

    () (Coventry University, UK)

Abstract

An April 2015 World Bank report on the Millennium Development Goal poverty target has revealed that extreme poverty has been decreasing in all regions of the world with the exception of Africa. This study extends the implications of Thomas Piketty’s celebrated literature from developed countries to the nexus between developed nations and African countries by building on responses from Rogoff (2014) and Stiglitz (2014), post Washington Consensus paradigms and underpinnings from Solow-Swan and Boyce-Fofack-Ndikumana. The central argument presented is that the inequality problem is at the heart of rational asymmetric development between rich and poor countries. Piketty has shown that inequality increases when the return on capital is higher than the growth rate, because the poor cannot catch-up with the rich. We argue that when the return on political economy (or capitalism-fuelled illicit capital flight) is higher than the growth rate in African countries, inequality in development increases and Africa may not catch-up with the developed world. As an ideal solution, Piketty has proposed progressive income taxation based on automatic exchange of bank information. The ideal analogy proposed in tackling the spirit of African poverty is a comprehensive commitment to fighting illicit capital flight based on this. Hence, contrary to theoretical underpinnings of exogenous growth models, catch-up may not be so apparent. Implications for the corresponding upward bias in endogenous development and catch-up literature are discussed.

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  • Simplice Asongu & Jacinta C. Nwachukwu, 2016. "Rational Asymmetric Development, Piketty and Poverty in Africa," Working Papers of the African Governance and Development Institute. 16/040, African Governance and Development Institute..
  • Handle: RePEc:agd:wpaper:16/040
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    Cited by:

    1. Asongu, Simplice & Asongu, Ndemaze, 2017. "Comparative Determinants of Quality of Growth in Developing Countries," MPRA Paper 80650, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Asongu Simplice & Nwachukwu Jacinta, 2017. "Globalization and Inclusive Human Development in Africa," Man and the Economy, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-24, June.
    3. repec:liu:liucej:v:13:y:2016:i:2:p:221-246 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Simplice Asongu, 2015. "Addressing a Root Cause of Sub Saharan Africa’s Poverty Tragedy: Horizons for post-2015 Common Capital Flight Policies," Working Papers of the African Governance and Development Institute. 15/048, African Governance and Development Institute..
    5. Asongu, Simplice & Efobi, Uchenna & Tanankem, Belmondo, 2017. "On the Relationship between Globalisation and the Economic Participation of Women in Sub-Saharan Africa," MPRA Paper 78860, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Simplice A. Asongu, 2017. "A Survey on Inequality-Adjusted Human Development in Africa," Africagrowth Agenda, Africagrowth Institute, vol. 14(1), pages 4-7.
    7. Simplice A. Asongu & Jacinta C. Nwachukwu, 2016. "Rational Asymmetric Development, Piketty and Poverty in Africa," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 13(2), pages 221-246, December.

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    Keywords

    Piketty; Inequality; Foreign aid; Capital flight; Development;

    JEL classification:

    • B20 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - General
    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • F50 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - General
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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