Economic Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of the Big Four
In Sub-Sahara Africa, Botswana, Ghana, Mauritius and South Africa can be considered the “Big Four” economies in terms of economic development and growth. How successful has these countries been in terms of economic development, and can they be considered role models for other Sub-Saharan African countries? And what are the commonalities and differences in their economic development experiences? This paper argues that only Botswana and Mauritius are unqualified development success stories. The jury is still out on Ghana, and South Africa (after 1994) is at most a mixed success. Generally, Botswana, Mauritius and South Africa escaped the factors which caused economic stagnation in much of Sub-Saharan Africa, such as poor policies, poor trade performance, and weak institutions. Geography and history (initial conditions) are also shown to be important in the case of the Big Four, but to have more complex interactions with policies and subsequent outcomes. In Botswana and Mauritius good growth followed from (or even due to) adverse initial conditions. But not all initial conditions were unfavorable: Botswana and Mauritius, as well as South Africa avoided the worst negative impacts of colonialism and slavery, as well as the potential adverse effects of natural resource abundance. The paper finally remarks on two factors which are often overlooked in the economic literature in explaining country performance: good leadership and good luck.
|Date of creation:||Nov 2011|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: P.O. Box 1203, 6201 BE Maastricht|
Phone: +31 43 387 08 08
Fax: +31 43 387 08 00
Web page: http://research.msm.nl
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Nathan Nunn, 2007.
"The Long-Term Effects of Africa's Slave Trades,"
NBER Working Papers
13367, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Peter Perkins & Johann Fedderke & John Luiz, 2005. "An Analysis Of Economic Infrastructure Investment In South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 73(2), pages 211-228, 06.
- Kraay, Aart & Raddatz, Claudio, 2007.
"Poverty traps, aid, and growth,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 315-347, March.
- Nathan Nunn & Diego Puga, 2012.
"Ruggedness: The Blessing of Bad Geography in Africa,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 20-36, February.
- Nathan Nunn & Diego Puga, 2009. "Ruggedness: The Blessing of Bad Geography in Africa," NBER Working Papers 14918, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Nathan Nunn & Diego Puga, 2007. "Ruggedness: The blessing of bad geography in Africa," Working Papers 2007-09, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales, revised 01 May 2010.
- Nunn, Nathan & Puga, Diego, 2007. "Ruggedness: The Blessing of Bad Geography in Africa," CEPR Discussion Papers 6253, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- BARRIOS, Salvador & BERTINELLI, Luisito & STROBL, Eric, 2003.
"Dry times in Africa: Rainfall and Africa's growth performance,"
CORE Discussion Papers
2003061, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- Barrios, Salvador & Bertinelli, Luisito & Strobl, Eric, 2003. "Dry Times in Africa: Rainfall and Africa's Growth Performance," MPRA Paper 5705, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Nunn, Nathan, 2007.
"Historical legacies: A model linking Africa's past to its current underdevelopment,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 157-175, May.
- Nathan Nunn, 2005. "Historical Legacies: A Model Linking Africa's Past to its Current Underdevelopment," Development and Comp Systems 0508008, EconWPA.
- Fosu, Augustin Kwasi, 1990. "Exports and economic growth: The African case," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 831-835, June.
- Souleymane Coulibaly & Lionel Fontagné, 2004.
"South – South Trade: Geography Matters,"
2004-08, CEPII research center.
- Souleymane Coulibaly & Lionel Fontagné, 2006. "South-South Trade: Geography Matters," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00270506, HAL.
- Souleymane COULIBALY & Lionel FONTAGNÉ, 2004. "South-South Trade: Geography Matters," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 04.07, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
- Souleymane Coulibaly & Lionel Fontagné, 2004. "South-South Trade : Geography Matters," Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques bla04041, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
- Jørn Rattsø & Hildegunn e. Stokke, 2007. "A Growth Model For South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 75(4), pages 616-630, December.
- Nicola Gennaioli & Ilia Rainer, 2007. "The modern impact of precolonial centralization in Africa," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 185-234, September.
- Bloom, David E & Canning, David & Sevilla, Jaypee, 2003. "Geography and Poverty Traps," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 355-78, December.
- Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2008.
"The Anatomy of Start-Stop Growth,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 582-587, August.
- Samuel Benin & Simeon Ehui & John Pender, 2004. "Policies Affecting Changes in Ownership of Livestock and Use of Feed Resources in the Highlands of Northern Ethiopia," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 13(1), pages 166-194, March.
- Ndulu,Benno J. & O'Connell,Stephen A. & Bates,Robert H. & Collier,Paul & Soludo,Chukwuma C., 2009. "The Political Economy of Economic Growth in Africa, 1960–2000," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521127752, April.
- W. A. Naude & W. F. Krugell, 2007. "Investigating geography and institutions as determinants of foreign direct investment in Africa using panel data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(10), pages 1223-1233.
- Adama Konseiga, 2007.
"Household Migration Decisions as Survival Strategy: The Case of Burkina Faso,"
Journal of African Economies,
Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 16(2), pages 198-233, March.
- Konseiga, Adama, 2005. "Household Migration Decisions as Survival Strategy: The Case of Burkina Faso," IZA Discussion Papers 1819, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Arne Bigsten & Abebe Shimeles, 2007. "Can Africa Reduce Poverty by Half by 2015?," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 25(2), pages 147-166, 03.
- Neil Foster, 2006. "Exports, growth and threshold effects in Africa," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(6), pages 1056-1074.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:msm:wpaper:2011/34. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Maud de By)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.