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The Role of Capital Accumulation, Adjustment and Structural Change for Economic Take-Off: Empirical Evidence from African Growth Episodes

  • Jean-Claude Berthélemy
  • Ludvig Söderling

In this study, we analyse extended periods of growth in Africa based on panel estimations from 27 African countries during the 1960-1996 period. Only a dozen of such rapid growth episodes are observable in Africa since 1960, and several of them eventually came to an end. We use all existing information on macroeconomic performance in Africa in a comparative manner, in order to assess the sustainability of current growth episodes. Our main conclusion is that sustainable growth needs to be based on a balanced mix of capital accumulation, macroeconomic adjustment and structural change. In addition to more commonly used determinants of Total Factor Productivity, we construct a measure for the effect of labour reallocation as well as an index of economic diversification and estimate the impact of the latter on long-term growth. We also build an analysis of investment behaviour, which is influenced by Total Factor Productivity gains, while influencing economic growth directly through ... Dans ce document, nous analysons des périodes de croissance prolongées en Afrique sur la base d’estimations en données de panel pour 27 pays sur la période 1960-1996. Il n’y a eu qu’une douzaine de tels épisodes de croissance « rapide » en Afrique depuis 1960 et beaucoup d’entre eux se sont soldés par des échecs. Nous utilisons à titre comparatif l’ensemble des informations disponibles sur les performances macroéconomiques en Afrique, afin d’évaluer le caractère soutenable des épisodes de croissance en cours. Notre principale conclusion est que pour être soutenable, la croissance doit reposer sur une combinaison équilibrée d’accumulation du capital, d’ajustement macroéconomique et de changement structurel. En complément des déterminants usuels de la productivité globale des facteurs, nous construisons un indicateur de l’effet de la réallocation du travail ainsi qu’un indicateur de diversification économique, dont nous testons l’impact sur la croissance à long terme. Nous proposons ...

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Development Centre Working Papers with number 150.

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Date of creation: Jul 1999
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Handle: RePEc:oec:devaaa:150-en
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  1. Robert C. Feenstra & Dorsati Madani & Tzu-Han Yang & Chi-Yuan Liang, 1997. "Testing Endogenous Growth in South Korea and Taiwan," NBER Working Papers 6028, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1993. "Making a Miracle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(2), pages 251-72, March.
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  4. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
  5. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1990. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Acemoglu, Daron & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1996. "Was Prometheus Unbound by Chance? Risk, Diversification and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1426, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. AfDB AfDB, . "African Development Report 1998," African Development Report, African Development Bank, number 15 edited by Adeleke Oluwole Salami, 8.
  10. Young, Alwyn, 1995. "The Tyranny of Numbers: Confronting the Statistical Realities of the East Asian Growth Experience," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 641-80, August.
  11. 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.
  12. Khalid Sekkat & Aristomène Varoudakis, 1998. "Exchange-Rate Management and Manufactured Exports in Sub-Saharan Africa," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 134, OECD Publishing.
  13. Tybout, James R, 1992. "Linking Trade and Productivity: New Research Directions," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 6(2), pages 189-211, May.
  14. Amjadi, Azita & Yeats, Alexander J., 1995. "Have transport costs contributed to the relative decline of sub-Saharan African exports? Some preliminary empirical evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1559, The World Bank.
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