IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cte/whrepe/wp11-09.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Human development in Africa : a long-run perspective

Author

Listed:
  • Prados de la Escosura, Leandro

Abstract

Long-run trends in Africa’s well-being are provided on the basis of a new index of human development, alternative to the UNDP’s HDI. A sustained improvement in African human development is found that falls, nonetheless, short of those experienced in other developing regions. Within Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa has fallen steadily behind the North since mid-20th century. Human development improvement is positively associated to being coastal and resource-rich and negatively to politicaleconomy distortions. Contrary to the world experience, in which life expectancy dominated, education has driven progress in African human development during the last half-a-century and, due to the impact of HIV/AIDS on life expectancy and the arresting effect of economic mismanagement and political turmoil on growth, advances in human development since 1990 have depended almost exclusively on education achievements. The large country variance of the recovery during the last decade suggests being cautious about the future’s prospects

Suggested Citation

  • Prados de la Escosura, Leandro, 2011. "Human development in Africa : a long-run perspective," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wp11-09, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
  • Handle: RePEc:cte:whrepe:wp11-09
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://e-archivo.uc3m.es/bitstream/handle/10016/12087/wp11_09.pdf?sequence=5
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Nathan Nunn, 2008. "The Long-term Effects of Africa's Slave Trades," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(1), pages 139-176.
    2. Angus Maddison, 2006. "Asia in the World Economy 1500-2030 AD," Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University, vol. 20, pages 1-37, November.
    3. R. C. Allen & J. L. Weisdorf, 2011. "Was there an ‘industrious revolution’ before the industrial revolution? An empirical exercise for England, c. 1300–1830," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 64(3), pages 715-729, August.
    4. Seema Jayachandran & Adriana Lleras-Muney & Kimberly V. Smith, 2010. "Modern Medicine and the Twentieth Century Decline in Mortality: Evidence on the Impact of Sulfa Drugs," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 118-146, April.
    5. repec:dau:papers:123456789/12675 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Ewout H.P. Frankema, 2012. "The origins of formal education in sub-Saharan Africa: was British rule more benign?," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(4), pages 335-355, November.
    7. Sen, Amartya, 1981. "Public Action and the Quality of Life in Developing Countries," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 43(4), pages 287-319, November.
    8. Leandro Prados de la Escosura, 2010. "Improving Human Development: A Long-Run View," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(5), pages 841-894, December.
    9. Dora Costa & Richard H. Steckel, 1997. "Long-Term Trends in Health, Welfare, and Economic Growth in the United States," NBER Chapters,in: Health and Welfare during Industrialization, pages 47-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. James C. Riley, 2005. "The Timing and Pace of Health Transitions around the World," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 31(4), pages 741-764.
    11. Cogneau, Denis & Moradi, Alexander, 2014. "Borders That Divide: Education and Religion in Ghana and Togo Since Colonial Times," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 74(03), pages 694-729, September.
    12. Moradi, Alexander & Baten, Joerg, 2005. "Inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa: New Data and New Insights from Anthropometric Estimates," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1233-1265, August.
    13. Bates, Robert H. & Coatsworth, John H. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2007. "Lost Decades: Postindependence Performance in Latin America and Africa," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 67(04), pages 917-943, December.
    14. Kakwani, N., 1993. "Performance in living standards : An international comparison," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 307-336, August.
    15. Gareth Austin, 2008. "Resources, techniques, and strategies south of the Sahara: revising the factor endowments perspective on African economic development, 1500-2000 -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 61(3), pages 587-624, August.
    16. James C. Riley, 2005. "Estimates of Regional and Global Life Expectancy, 1800-2001," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 31(3), pages 537-543.
    17. Lindert,Peter H., 2009. "Growing Public," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521529174, May.
    18. Feinstein,Charles H., 2005. "An Economic History of South Africa," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521850919, May.
    19. M. Fleurbaey., 2012. "Beyond GDP: The Quest for a Measure of Social Welfare," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 3.
    20. Denis Cogneau & Léa Rouanet, 2009. "Living Conditions in Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Western Africa 1925-1985: What Do Survey Data on Height Stature Tell Us?," Working Papers DT/2009/12, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    21. Ravallion, Martin, 2012. "Troubling tradeoffs in the Human Development Index," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 201-209.
    22. Javier Silvestre & Ma Isabel Ayuda & Vicente Pinilla, 2011. "The Labor Market Integration of Migrants: Barcelona, 1930," Working Papers 0003, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    23. Feinstein,Charles H., 2005. "An Economic History of South Africa," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521616416, May.
    24. Marc Flandreau, Stefano Ugolini, 2011. "Where It All Began: Lending of Last Resort and the Bank of England during the Overend, Gurney Panic of 1866," IHEID Working Papers 04-2011, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
    25. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Wößmann, 2009. "Schooling, Cognitive Skills, and the Latin American Growth Puzzle," CESifo Working Paper Series 2667, CESifo Group Munich.
    26. Srinivasan, T N, 1994. "Human Development: A New Paradigm or Reinvention of the Wheel?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 238-243, May.
    27. David Cutler & Grant Miller, 2005. "The role of public health improvements in health advances: The twentieth-century United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 42(1), pages 1-22, February.
    28. David Mayer-Foulkes, 2010. "Divergences and Convergences in Human Development," Working papers DTE 481, CIDE, División de Economía.
    29. David Canning, 2012. "Progress in Health around the World," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(12), pages 1784-1798, December.
    30. Easterlin, Richard A., 1999. "How beneficent is the market? A look at the modern history of mortality," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(03), pages 257-294, December.
    31. Merwan Engineer & Nilanjana Roy & Sari Fink, 2010. "“Healthy” Human Development Indices," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 99(1), pages 61-80, October.
    32. Leander Heldring & James A. Robinson, 2012. "Colonialism and Economic Development in Africa," NBER Working Papers 18566, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    33. Fernando Mendiola Gonzalo, 2011. "Forced Labour in Franco's Spain: Workforce Supply, Profits and Productivity," Working Papers 0004, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    34. François Bourguignon & Christian Morrisson, 2002. "Inequality Among World Citizens: 1820-1992," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 727-744, September.
    35. Frankema, Ewout & Waijenburg, Marlous Van, 2012. "Structural Impediments to African Growth? New Evidence from Real Wages in British Africa, 1880–1965," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(04), pages 895-926, December.
    36. Robert Woods, 2007. "Ancient and early modern mortality: experience and understanding -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 60(2), pages 373-399, May.
    37. Desai, Meghnad, 1991. "Human development : Concepts and measurement," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(2-3), pages 350-357, April.
    38. Sudhir Anand & Amartya Sen, 2000. "The Income Component of the Human Development Index," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 83-106.
    39. Ndulu,Benno J. & O'Connell,Stephen A. & Bates,Robert H. & Collier,Paul & Soludo,Chukwuma C., 2009. "The Political Economy of Economic Growth in Africa, 1960–2000," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521127752, May.
    40. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong Wha, 2013. "A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 184-198.
    41. Akachi, Yoko & Canning, David, 2010. "Health trends in Sub-Saharan Africa: Conflicting evidence from infant mortality rates and adult heights," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 273-288, July.
    42. Morten Jerven, 2011. "Comparing colonial and post-colonial output: Challenges in estimating African economic change in the long run," Working Papers 0010, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
    43. Sudhir Anand and Amartya Sen, 2000. "The Income Component of Human Development Index," Human Development Occasional Papers (1992-2007) HDOCPA-2000-01, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
    44. Moradi, Alexander, 2010. "Nutritional status and economic development in sub-Saharan Africa, 1950-1980," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 16-29, March.
    45. Paul Collier, 2000. "Ethnicity, Politics and Economic Performance," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 225-245, November.
    46. Morten Jerven, 2013. "Comparability of GDP estimates in Sub-Saharan Africa: The effect of Revisions in Sources and Methods Since Structural Adjustment," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 59, pages 16-36, October.
    47. Bertocchi, Graziella & Canova, Fabio, 2002. "Did colonization matter for growth?: An empirical exploration into the historical causes of Africa's underdevelopment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(10), pages 1851-1871, December.
    48. Sagar, Ambuj D. & Najam, Adil, 1998. "The human development index: a critical review," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 249-264, June.
    49. Sue Bowden & Blessing Chiripanhura & Paul Mosley, 2008. "Measuring and explaining poverty in six African countries: A long-period approach," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(8), pages 1049-1079.
    50. Easterly, William, 1999. "Life during Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 239-276, September.
    51. Dasgupta, Partha, 1990. "Well-Being and the Extent of Its Realisation in Poor Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(400), pages 1-32, Supplemen.
    52. Lars Sandberg & Richard H. Steckel, 1997. "Was Industrialization Hazardous to Your Health? Not in Sweden!," NBER Chapters,in: Health and Welfare during Industrialization, pages 127-160 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    53. Yousef, Tarik M, 2002. "Egypt's Growth Performance under Economic Liberalism: A Reassessment with New GDP Estimates, 1886-1945," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(4), pages 561-579, December.
    54. Facundo Alvaredo & Anthony B Atkinson, 2010. "Colonial Rule, Apartheid and Natural Resources: Top Incomes in South Africa 1903-2005," OxCarre Working Papers 046, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
    55. Alexander Moradi, 2008. "Confronting colonial legacies-lessons from human development in Ghana and Kenya, 1880-2000," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(8), pages 1107-1121.
    56. Augustin Kwasi Fosu and Germano Mwabu, 2010. "Human Development in Africa," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2010-08, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
    57. Sue Bowden & Paul Mosley, 2012. "Politics, Public Expenditure and the Evolution of Poverty in Africa 1920-2009," Working Papers 2012003, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
    58. Pim de Zwart, 2011. "Real wages at the Cape of Good Hope: A long-term perspective, 1652-1912," Working Papers 0013, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
    59. Kai-yuen Tsui, 1996. "Improvement indices of well-being (*)," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 13(3), pages 291-303.
    60. Zachary Gidwitz & Martin Philipp Heger & José Pineda & Francisco Rodríguez, 2010. "Understanding Performance in Human Development: A Cross-National Study," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2010-42, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Andreas Exenberger & Simon Hartmann, 2013. "How Does Institutional Change Coincide with Changes in the Quality of Life? An Exemplary Case Study," Working Papers 2013-09, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    2. Guido Alfani & Federico Tadei, 2017. "Income Inequality in Colonial Africa: Building Social Tables for Pre-Independence Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, and Senegal," Working Papers 594, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    3. Emanuele Felice & Michelangelo Vasta, 2015. "Passive modernization? The new human development index and its components in Italy's regions (1871–2007)," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 44-66.
    4. Broadberry, Stephen & Gardner, Leigh, 2016. "Economic Development In Africa And Europe: Reciprocal Comparisons," Revista de Historia Económica, Cambridge University Press, vol. 34(01), pages 11-37, March.
    5. Leandro Prados de la Escosura, 2015. "World Human Development: 1870–2007," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 61(2), pages 220-247, June.
    6. Meier zu Selhausen, Felix P. & van Leeuwen, Marco H.D. & Weisdorf, Jacob L., 2015. "Social Mobility among Christian Africans: Evidence from Ugandan Marriage Registers 1895-2011," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 239, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    7. Emanuele Felice, 2016. "The Misty Grail: The Search for a Comprehensive Measure of Development and the Reasons for GDP Primacy," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 47(5), pages 967-994, September.
    8. Lucilla Maria Bruni & Jamele Rigolini & Sara Troiano, 2016. "Forever Young?," World Bank Other Operational Studies 24996, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • N37 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Africa; Oceania

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cte:whrepe:wp11-09. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ana Poveda). General contact details of provider: http://portal.uc3m.es/portal/page/portal/instituto_figuerola .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.