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Initial Conditions, European Colonialism and Africa's Growth

We investigate the role of initial conditions at colonial independence on economic growth in Africa in the post-independence period using Bayesian Model Averaging (BMA). A key innovation in our estimation methodology is that we incorporate parameter heterogeneity in model averaging as well as try to mitigate the endogeneity problem present in growth regressions. In order to ensure that differences in the growth determinants between Africa and the world are not driven by experiences of an alternative group of countries, we also control for the presence of OECD countries and former European colonies in the global sample. We find that the impact of different initial conditions on growth in Africa is strikingly different from the world. We argue that these initial conditions reflect the state of development at the close of the colonial era and are therefore inherently related with the legacy of colonialism.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Louisiana State University in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 2006-01.

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Handle: RePEc:lsu:lsuwpp:2006-01
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  19. Temple, Jonathan, 1998. "Initial Conditions, Social Capital and Growth in Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 7(3), pages 309-47, October.
  20. 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.
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  23. Winford H. Masanjala & Chris Papageorgiou, 2008. "Rough and lonely road to prosperity: a reexamination of the sources of growth in Africa using Bayesian model averaging," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(5), pages 671-682.
  24. 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.
  25. Charalambos G. Tsangarides, 2005. "Growth Empirics Under Model Uncertainty; Is Africa Different?," IMF Working Papers 05/18, International Monetary Fund.
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  29. Robert H. Bates, 2000. "Ethnicity and Development in Africa: A Reappraisal," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 131-134, May.
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