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Growth of African Economies: Productivity, Policy Syndromes and the Importance of Institutions

  • Augustin Kwasi Fosu

Recent evidence from an exhaustive political-economy study of growth of African economise - the Growth Project of the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) - suggests that 'policy syndromes' have substantially contributed to the generally poor growth in sub-Saharan Africa during post-independence.� The current article employs the unique data and insights generated by the Growth Project to further explore that importance of a 'syndrome-free' (SF) regime for growth in the region by examining: (i) the channels via which SF affects growth: total factor productivity (TFP) versus factors of production; and (ii) the role of institutions in mediating this impact, with special attention accorded the efficacy of the restraint on the executive branch of government in mitigating the potentially adverse effect of ethnicity.

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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number WPS/2012-11.

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Date of creation: 31 Jul 2012
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:wps/2012-11
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  1. Ghura, Dhaneshwar & Grennes, Thomas J., 1993. "The real exchange rate and macroeconomic performance in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 155-174, October.
  2. Nunn, Nathan, 2008. "The Long-Term Effects of Africa's Slave Trades," Scholarly Articles 3710252, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Paul Collier, 2000. "Ethnicity, Politics and Economic Performance," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 225-245, November.
  4. Easterly, William, 2001. "Can Institutions Resolve Ethnic Conflict?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(4), pages 687-706, July.
  5. Fosu, Augustin Kwasi, 1992. "Political Instability and Economic Growth: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(4), pages 829-41, July.
  6. Augstin Kwasi Fosu, 2003. "Political Instability and Export Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(4), pages 68-83.
  7. Kwabena Gyimah-Brempong & Marva E. Corley, 2005. "Civil Wars and Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa1," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 14(2), pages 270-311, June.
  8. 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.
  9. Mwangi S. Kimenyi, 2003. "Ethnicity, Governance and the Provision of Public Goods," Working papers 2003-49, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  10. Sambit Bhattacharyya, 2007. "Root Causes of African Underdevelopment," Working Papers in Economics and Development Studies (WoPEDS) 200704, Department of Economics, Padjadjaran University, revised Apr 2007.
  11. Fearon, James D, 2003. " Ethnic and Cultural Diversity by Country," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 195-222, June.
  12. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521127752 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
  14. Gyimah-Brempong, Kwabena & Traynor, Thomas L, 1999. "Political Instability, Investment and Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 8(1), pages 52-86, March.
  15. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1995. "Institutions and Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Indicators," MPRA Paper 23118, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  16. Azam, Jean-Paul, 1995. " How to Pay for the Peace? A Theoretical Framework with References to African Countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 83(1-2), pages 173-84, April.
  17. Barry P. Bosworth & Susan M. Collins, 2003. "The Empirics of Growth: An Update," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(2), pages 113-206.
  18. FOSU, Augustin Kwasi, 2008. "Democracy and growth in Africa: Implications of increasing electoral competitiveness," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(3), pages 442-444, September.
  19. Augustin Kwasi Fosu, 2002. "Political Instability and Economic Growth: Implications of Coup Events in Sub-Saharan Africa," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 329-348, 01.
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