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Governance and development in Africa: A concise review

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  • Augustin Kwasi Fosu

Abstract

Given the increasing importance of governance in economic development and the yearn for Africa to catch up, the present paper provides a concise review of the literature with relevance to the region. First, the paper presents the stylized facts showing that Africa as a region, since about the late-1990s, substantially improved on growth and economic outcomes in the form of per capita income, human development, and poverty. Second, it shows that both economic governance (EG) and political governance (PG) have improved considerably since about the late 1980s or early 1990s, with EG measured by economic freedom, and PG by the index of electoral competiveness, executive constraint and polity 2, as well as by indicators of political stability. Third, it attributes the favourable changes in economic outcomes significantly to these improvements in EG and PG. Finally, the paper flags the challenge of the likely disequilibrium between the economic and political equilibria under multiparty democracy, with adverse implications for fiscal allocation. .

Suggested Citation

  • Augustin Kwasi Fosu, 2017. "Governance and development in Africa: A concise review," Global Development Institute Working Paper Series 082017, GDI, The University of Manchester.
  • Handle: RePEc:bwp:bwppap:082017
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    File URL: http://hummedia.manchester.ac.uk/institutes/gdi/publications/workingpapers/GDI/GDI_WP2017002_Fosu.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Fosu, Augustin K., 2010. "Income Distribution and Growth’s Ability to Reduce Poverty: Evidence from Rural and Urban African Economies," WIDER Working Paper Series 092, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. Robert H. Bates & Steven A. Block & Ghada Fayad & Anke Hoeffler, 2013. "The New Institutionalism and Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 22(4), pages 499-522, August.
    3. repec:hrv:hksfac:37093808 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Augustin Kwasi Fosu, 2002. "Transforming Economic Growth to Human Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Role of Elite Political Instability," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(1), pages 9-19.
    5. Humphreys, Macartan & Bates, Robert, 2005. "Political Institutions and Economic Policies: Lessons from Africa," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 35(03), pages 403-428, July.
    6. Robert H. Bates, 2006. "Institutions and Development," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(1), pages 10-61, April.
    7. Augstin Kwasi Fosu, 2003. "Political Instability and Export Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(4), pages 68-83.
    8. Fosu, Augustin Kwasi, 2010. "Does inequality constrain poverty reduction programs? Evidence from Africa," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 818-827, November.
    9. Mwangi S. Kimenyi, 2006. "Ethnicity, Governance and the Provision of Public Goods," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(1), pages 62-99, April.
    10. Martin Ravallion, 2012. "Why Don't We See Poverty Convergence?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 504-523, February.
    11. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2002. "Growth Is Good for the Poor," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 195-225, September.
    12. Fosu, Augustin Kwasi, 2017. "Growth, inequality, and poverty reduction in developing countries: Recent global evidence," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 306-336.
    13. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 131-165, June.
    14. Augustin Kwasi Fosu, 2002. "Political Instability and Economic Growth: Implications of Coup Events in Sub-Saharan Africa," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 329-348, January.
    15. Alwyn Young, 2012. "The African Growth Miracle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(4), pages 696-739.
    16. Easterly, William, 2001. "Can Institutions Resolve Ethnic Conflict?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(4), pages 687-706, July.
    17. repec:oup:jafrec:v:22:y:2013:i:4:p:-522 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. de Haan, Jakob & Sturm, Jan-Egbert, 2000. "On the relationship between economic freedom and economic growth," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 215-241, June.
    19. Augustin Kwasi Fosu, 2009. "Inequality and the Impact of Growth on Poverty: Comparative Evidence for Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(5), pages 726-745.
    20. Fosu, A. K., 2001. "Political instability and economic growth in developing economies: some specification empirics," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 289-294, February.
    21. Kwabena Gyimah-Brempong & Marva E. Corley, 2005. "Civil Wars and Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa1," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 14(2), pages 270-311, June.
    22. Augustin Fosu & Robert Bates & Anke Hoeffler, 2006. "Institutions, Governance and Economic Development in Africa: An Overview," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(1), pages 1-9, April.
    23. Augustin Kwasi Fosu, 2008. "Inequality and the growth-poverty nexus: specification empirics using African data," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(7), pages 563-566.
    24. Fosu, Augustin Kwasi, 1992. "Political Instability and Economic Growth: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(4), pages 829-841, July.
    25. Alwyn Young, 2012. "The African Growth Miracle," NBER Working Papers 18490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    26. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
    27. FOSU, Augustin Kwasi, 2008. "Democracy and growth in Africa: Implications of increasing electoral competitiveness," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(3), pages 442-444, September.
    28. Augustin Kwasi Fosu, 2010. "Africa's Economic Future: Learning from the Past," CESifo Forum, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 11(1), pages 62-71, April.
    29. Erik Thorbecke, 2013. "The Interrelationship Linking Growth, Inequality and Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 22(suppl_1), pages -48, January.
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