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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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File URL: http://www.bus.lsu.edu/economics/papers/pap06_01.pdf
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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
Contact details of provider: Postal: Baton Rouge, LA 70803-6306
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Web page: http://www.business.lsu.edu/economics
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  1. Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1997. "I Just Ran Two Million Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 178-83, May.
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  11. Elsa V. Artadi & Xavier Sala-i-Martín, 2003. "The economic tragedy of the XXth Century: Growth in Africa," Economics Working Papers 684, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  12. 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.
  13. Carmen Fernandez & E Ley & Mark F J Steel, 2004. "Benchmark priors for Bayesian models averaging," ESE Discussion Papers 66, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
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  16. 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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    • Durlauf, Steven N. & Johnson, Paul A. & Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2005. "Growth Econometrics," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 555-677 Elsevier.
  18. Paap, Richard & Franses, Philip Hans & van Dijk, Dick, 2005. "Does Africa grow slower than Asia, Latin America and the Middle East? Evidence from a new data-based classification method," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 553-570, August.
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  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. 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.
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  29. repec:rus:hseeco:70719 is not listed on IDEAS
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