IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Root Causes of African Underdevelopment

  • Sambit Bhattacharyya

What are the root causes of Africa's current state of under-development? Is it the long history of slave trade, or the legacy of extractive colonial institutions, or the fallout of malaria? We investigate the relative contributions of these factors using an instrumental variable approach. The results show that malaria matters the most and all other factors are statistically insignificant. Malaria also negatively affects savings. Using a two period overlapping generation model we show that malaria impacts economic performance by increasing both mortality and morbidity. Increased mortality increases current household consumption and discourages savings. Increased morbidity adversely affects labour productivity. The combined impact is a slowdown of capital accumulation and economic growth.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: https://crawford.anu.edu.au/acde/publications/publish/papers/wp2008/wp_econ_2008_16.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 2008-16.

as
in new window

Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pas:papers:2008-16
Contact details of provider: Postal: Crawford Building, Lennox Crossing, Building #132, Canberra ACT 2601
Phone: +61 2 6125 4705
Fax: +61 2 6125 5448
Web page: https://crawford.anu.edu.au/acde/publications/Email:


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.:

as in new window
  1. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Government," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1847, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson, 2002. "The Rise of Europe: Atlantic Trade, Institutional Change and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 9378, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
  4. Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, 2002. "Does the Mortality Decline Promote Economic Growth?," Macroeconomics 0212008, EconWPA.
  5. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  6. Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Wacziarg, Romain & Kurlat, Sergio & Easterly, William, 2003. "Fractionalization," Scholarly Articles 4553003, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Rodrik, Dani & Subramanian, Arvind & Trebbi, Francesco, 2002. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 3643, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. William A Masters and Margaret S McMillan, 2000. "Climate and Scale in Economic Growth," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2000-13, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  9. Nunn, Nathan, 2007. "The Long-Term Effects of Africa's Slave Trades," MPRA Paper 4134, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, 2012. "AIDS, “reversal” of the demographic transition and economic development: evidence from Africa," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 871-897, July.
  11. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2007. "Disease and Development: The Effect of Life Expectancy on Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(6), pages 925-985, December.
  12. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
  13. Jan Willem Gunning & Paul Collier, 1999. "Explaining African Economic Performance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 64-111, March.
  14. Albouy, David, 2006. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Investigation of the Settler Mortality Data," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt8kt576x8, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  15. David N. Weil, 2005. "Accounting for the Effect of Health on Economic Growth," Working Papers 2005-07, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  16. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem & Ryder, Harl E. & Weil, David N., 2000. "Mortality decline, human capital investment, and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 1-23, June.
  18. Rappaport, Jordan & Sachs, Jeffrey D, 2003. " The United States as a Coastal Nation," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 5-46, March.
  19. C Arndt & J D Lewis, 2000. "The Macro Implications of HIV/AIDS in South Africa: A Preliminary Assessment," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 68(5), pages 380-392, December.
  20. Peter Lorentzen & John McMillan & Romain Wacziarg, 2006. "Death and Development," 2006 Meeting Papers 61, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  21. Sachs, J-D & Warner, A-M, 1996. "Sources of Slow Growth in African Economies," Papers 545, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  22. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," NBER Working Papers 10568, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Hausman, Jerry & Stock, James H. & Yogo, Motohiro, 2005. "Asymptotic properties of the Hahn-Hausman test for weak-instruments," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 89(3), pages 333-342, December.
  24. Carstensen, Kai & Gundlach, Erich, 2006. "The primacy of institutions reconsidered: Direct income effects of malaria prevalence," Munich Reprints in Economics 19929, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  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. Alastair Hall & Fernanda P. M. Peixe, 2000. "A Consistent Method for the Selection of Relevant Instruments," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0790, Econometric Society.
  27. Shankha Chakraborty & Mausumi Das, 2003. "Mortality, Human Capital and Persistent Inequality," Working papers 119, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
  28. 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.
  29. T. Paul Schultz, 2002. "Wage Gains Associated with Height as a Form of Health Human Capital," Working Papers 841, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  30. 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.
  31. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521844413 is not listed on IDEAS
  32. Kai Carstensen & Erich Gundlach, 2006. "The Primacy of Institutions Reconsidered: Direct Income Effects of Malaria Prevalence," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 20(3), pages 309-339.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2003. "Institutions, trade, and growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 133-162, January.
  36. Edward Miguel & Michael Kremer, 2004. "Worms: Identifying Impacts on Education and Health in the Presence of Treatment Externalities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 159-217, 01.
  37. T. Paul Schultz, 2002. "Wage Gains Associated with Height as a Form of Health Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 349-353, May.
  38. Clive Bell & Shantayanan Devarajan & Hans Gersbach, 2003. "The long-run economic costs of AIDS : theory and an application to South Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3152, The World Bank.
  39. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
  40. Sambit Bhattacharyya, 2004. "Deep determinants of economic growth," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(9), pages 587-590.
  41. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2003. "Institutions Don't Rule: Direct Effects of Geography on Per Capita Income," NBER Working Papers 9490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  42. Hoyt Bleakley, 2003. "Disease and Development: Evidence from the American South," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 376-386, 04/05.
  43. C. Henry, 2005. "The end of poverty: How we can make it happen in our lifetime," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 61-68, December.
  44. Jere R. Behrman & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2004. "Returns to Birthweight," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 586-601, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pas:papers:2008-16. 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: (Sandra Zec)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.