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Institutional Infrastructure to Support 'Super Growth' in Kenya: Governance Thresholds, Reversion Rates and Economic Development


  • Mwangi S. Kimenyi

    (University of Connecticut)


Kenya Growth Vision 2030 proposes policy and institutional reforms that make it possible for the country to achieve development status of a middle income country by 2030. This paper outlines the institutional framework necessary to achieve 'Super Growth,' which describes the character of growth required to meet targets stipulated in the Vision. The paper provides evidence confirming the importance of improving the quality of governance to the achievement of the Vision. The paper also demonstrates that the country is characterized by a high probability of reverting to poor governance. It is argued that, to achieve super growth, the country must attain an institutional tipping point which associates with low reversion rates to weaker institutions. The paper provides suggestions for institutional reforms that result in the achievement of an institutional tipping point and super growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Mwangi S. Kimenyi, 2007. "Institutional Infrastructure to Support 'Super Growth' in Kenya: Governance Thresholds, Reversion Rates and Economic Development," Working papers 2007-32, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2007-32

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1999. "Governance matters," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2196, The World Bank.
    2. Kimenyi, Mwangi S & Mbaku, John M, 1993. "Rent-Seeking and Institutional Stability in Developing Countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 77(2), pages 385-405, October.
    3. Dani Rodrik, 1999. "Democracies Pay Higher Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 707-738.
    4. Mwangi S. Kimenyi & Germano Mwabu, 2005. "Policy Advice during a Crisis," Working papers 2005-41, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    5. Per Krusell & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 1996. "Vested Interests in a Positive Theory of Stagnation and Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 301-329.
    6. Rodrik, Dani, 1999. "Where Did All the Growth Go? External Shocks, Social Conflict, and Growth Collapses," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 385-412, December.
    7. Mwangi S. Kimenyi, 2005. "Economic Rights, Human Development Effort and Institutions," Working papers 2005-40, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    8. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Why Did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, and Growth in Historical Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199.
    9. Mwangi S. Kimenyi, 2007. "Markets, Institutions And Millennium Development Goals," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(2), pages 14-19, June.
    10. Fischer, Stanley, 1993. "The role of macroeconomic factors in growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 485-512, December.
    11. Robert H. Bates & Janvier D. Nkurunziza, 2003. "Political Institutions and Economic Growth in Africa," CID Working Papers 98, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    12. Janvier D. Nkurunziza & Robert H. Bates, 2003. "Political Institutions and Economic Growth in Africa," CSAE Working Paper Series 2003-03, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    13. Wayne Brough & Mwangi Kimenyi, 1986. "On the inefficient extraction of rents by dictators," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 48(1), pages 37-48, January.
    14. de Haan, Jakob & Siermann, Clemens L J, 1996. "New Evidence on the Relationship between Democracy and Economic Growth," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 86(1-2), pages 175-198, January.
    15. James A. Robinson & Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "Political Losers as a Barrier to Economic Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 126-130, May.
    16. Mwangi S. Kimenyi, 2006. "The Demand for Power Diffusion: A Case Study of the 2005 Constitutional Referendum Voting in Kenya," Working papers 2006-11, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
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    More about this item


    Geovernance; Super Growth; Institutional Tipping; Kenya Growth Vision 2030;

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O20 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - General
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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