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Did Africa’s First Choices Matter? Growth Legacies of Leaders at Independence

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We explore the potential effects of the first leaders of Sub-Saharan Africa. We first outline a set of theoretical reasons for why leaders may matter particularly at the critical juncture of African independence and why this influence may be persistent. In an unbalanced panel from 40 African countries observed since independence, we find evidence of strongly persistent effects of the education of African leaders. Only military coups seem able to break the persistent negative influence of this characteristic.

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Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 1090.

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Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: 12 Oct 2015
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:1090
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Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden

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  1. Martin C. McGuire & Mancur Olson Jr., 1996. "The Economics of Autocracy and Majority Rule: The Invisible Hand and the Use of Force," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 72-96, March.
  2. 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, 06.
  3. Devarajan, Shantayanan & Easterley, William R. & Pack, Howard, 2001. "Is investment in Africa too low or too high : macro and micro evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2519, The World Bank.
  4. 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.
  5. David E. Bloom & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1998. "Geography, Demography, and Economic Growth in Africa," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 207-296.
  6. Dollar, David & Easterly, William, 1999. "The Search for the Key: Aid, Investment and Policies in Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 8(4), pages 546-577, December.
  7. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294.
  8. Christian Bjørnskov & Niklas Potrafke, 2011. "Politics and privatization in Central and Eastern Europe," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 19(2), pages 201-230, 04.
  9. Richard Jong-A-Pin & Shu Yu, 2010. "Do Coup Leaders Matter?," KOF Working papers 10-252, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  10. Dreher, Axel & Lamla, Michael J. & Lein, Sarah M. & Somogyi, Frank, 2009. "The impact of political leaders' profession and education on reforms," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 169-193, March.
  11. Oliver E. Williamson, 2000. "The New Institutional Economics: Taking Stock, Looking Ahead," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 595-613, September.
  12. Olsson, Ola, 2009. "On the democratic legacy of colonialism," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 534-551, December.
  13. Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2005. "Do Leaders Matter? National Leadership and Growth Since World War II," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 835-864.
  14. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  15. Michael Horowitz & Rose McDermott & Allan C. Stam, 2005. "Leader Age, Regime Type, and Violent International Relations," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 49(5), pages 661-685, October.
  16. Berggren, Niclas & Bergh, Andreas & Bjørnskov, Christian, 2012. "The growth effects of institutional instability," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(02), pages 187-224, June.
  17. Aron, Janine, 2000. "Growth and Institutions: A Review of the Evidence," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 15(1), pages 99-135, February.
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