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Why Not Africa?


  • Richard B. Freeman
  • David L. Lindauer


Various arguments have been used to explain Sub-Saharan Africa's economic decline. We find that a stress on investments in education as a prerequisite for more rapid growth is misplaced; that greater openness is far from sufficient to insure economic progress; that income inequality and urban bias are not so extreme as to foreclose prospects for more rapid growth and poverty alleviation; and that the constraints imposed by Sub-Saharan Africa's human and physical geography are not core explanations for the regions poor performance. If African countries can establish an institutional environment that enables individuals to gain the rewards of their investments, the alleged barriers to the region's growth should prove surmountable.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard B. Freeman & David L. Lindauer, 1999. "Why Not Africa?," NBER Working Papers 6942, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6942
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ines Lindner & Holger Strulik, 2008. "Social Fractionalization, Endogenous Appropriation Norms, and Economic Development," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(298), pages 244-258, May.
    2. Cunado, J. & Perez de Gracia, F., 2006. "Real convergence in Africa in the second-half of the 20th century," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 153-167.
    3. Holger Strulik, 2008. "Social composition, social conflict and economic development," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(530), pages 1145-1170, July.
    4. Ines Lindner & Holger Strulik, 2004. "Why not Africa? -- Growth and Welfare Effects of Secure Property Rights," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 120(1_2), pages 143-167, July.
    5. Arvind Subramanian & Jonathan David Ostry & Simon Johnson, 2007. "The Prospects for Sustained Growth in Africa; Benchmarking the Constraints," IMF Working Papers 07/52, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, Banji & Barclay, Lou Anne, 2003. "Systems of Innovation and Human Capital in African Development," UNU-INTECH Discussion Paper Series 2, United Nations University - INTECH.
    7. Narula, Rajneesh, 2001. "Multinational Firms, Regional Integration and Globalising Markets: Implications for Developing Countries," Research Memorandum 035, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    8. Rajneesh Narula, 2015. "The Importance of Domestic Capabilities for FDI-assisted Development: Lessons from Asia and Latin America," John H Dunning Centre for International Business Discussion Papers jhd-dp2015-05, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    9. Narula, Rajneesh, 2002. "Switching from import substitution to the ‘New Economic Model’ in Latin America: A case of not learning from Asia," Research Memorandum 042, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    10. Rodney Ramcharan, 2002. "Columbia or High School? Understanding the Roles of Education in Development," IMF Working Papers 02/36, International Monetary Fund.
    11. Holger Strulik & Ines Lindner, 1999. "Property Rights and Growth," Quantitative Macroeconomics Working Papers 19904, Hamburg University, Department of Economics.
    12. A. Salehizadeh & Peter Berezin & Elcior Santana, 2002. "The Challenge of Diversification in the Caribbean," IMF Working Papers 02/196, International Monetary Fund.
    13. Deininger, Klaus & Olinto, Pedro, 2000. "Asset distribution, inequality, and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2375, The World Bank.

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