Institutions, Social Capital, and Economic Development in Africa: An Empirical Study
Using 1975-2000 panel data, this paper examines the effects of institutions and social capital, in the form of generalized trust (proxied by contract-intensive money), on economic development in 39 African countries. The results indicate that there is a robust positive influence of social capital on income. In addition, the interaction between social capital and institutional quality, and the interaction of social capital with human capital also have a positive influence on economic development. On the other hand, institutions do not seem to have an independent effect (or may even have a negative impact) on income. Overall, the empirical results suggest that social capital and institutions in Africa may be complements rather than substitutes.
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