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The Political Economy of Policy Failure in Zambia

  • Bigsten , Arne

    (Department of Economics, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Göteborg University)

  • Kayizzi-Mugerwa, Steve

    ()

    (Department of Economics, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Göteborg University)

Zambia’s experience in the 1990s illustrates that, on their own, policy changes will not redress decades of mismanagement, especially when the degree of commitment of the elite remains unaltered. In 1991, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy won the elections on a reform platform, promising to reverse the economic decline and to introduce more inclusive politics. Though macroeconomic stabilisation and market reforms were successfully implemented, the new government was less successful in introducing public-sector reforms and those related to governance. Even its privatisation efforts became more difficult as the focus reverted to the copper mines. These latter reforms have more clear-cut costs for stakeholders and were resisted. Politics continue to be the main stumbling block to durable reform. The country is yet to establish a level of confidence that is required to attract sufficient amounts of domestic and foreign investment that can spur sustainable growth. With regard to the role of donors, aid to Zambia, or even its temporary withdrawal, has been a poor basis for inducing reform. Establishing a high degree of reform ownership in Zambia is important for enhancing programme sustainability.

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Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 23.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: 30 May 2000
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in The Political Economy of Reform Failure, Lundahl, Mats, Wyzan, Michael L. (eds.), 2005, chapter 13, Routledge, London.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0023
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Phone: 031-773 10 00
Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/

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  1. Paul Collier & Jan Willem Gunning, 1998. "Explaining African economic performance," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/1997-02.2, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Sachs, Jeffrey D & Warner, Andrew M, 1997. "Sources of Slow Growth in African Economies," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 6(3), pages 335-76, October.
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  7. Bratton, Michael & Alderfer, Philip & Bowser, Georgia & Temba, Joseph, 1999. "The Effects of Civic Education on Political Culture: Evidence from Zambia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 807-824, May.
  8. Dollar, David & Easterly, William, 1999. "The search for the key : aid, investment, and policies in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2070, The World Bank.
  9. David Stasavage and Dambisa Moyo, 1999. "Are cash budgets a cure for excess fiscal deficits (and at what cost)?," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/1999-11, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  10. Collier, Paul, 1999. "Aid 'Dependency': A Critique," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 8(4), pages 528-45, December.
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