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Thirty years of economic growth in Africa

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  • João Amador
  • António R. dos Santos

Abstract

This paper examines the contribution of employment, capital accumulation and total factor productivity (TFP) to economic growth in African countries over the period 1986-2014. The methodology consists in the estimation of a translog dynamic stochastic production frontier for a set of 49 African economies, thus allowing for the breakdown of TFP along efficiency developments and technological progress. Although the heterogeneity amongst African countries poses a challenge to the estimation of a common production frontier, this is the best approach to perform cross-country comparisons. The results of our growth accounting exercise are more accurate for the contribution of input accumulation and TFP to GDP growth than for the separation between contributions of technological progress and efficiency. We conclude that economic growth patterns differ across African countries but they have been almost totally associated to input accumulation, notably in what concerns capital. The experience of Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa - the three largest African economies - confirms this pattern.

Suggested Citation

  • João Amador & António R. dos Santos, 2018. "Thirty years of economic growth in Africa," NOVAFRICA Working Paper Series wp1802, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia, NOVAFRICA.
  • Handle: RePEc:unl:novafr:wp1802
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eifert, Benn & Gelb, Alan & Ramachandran, Vijaya, 2008. "The Cost of Doing Business in Africa: Evidence from Enterprise Survey Data," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 1531-1546, September.
    2. Susanto Basu & David N. Weil, 1998. "Appropriate Technology and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1025-1054.
    3. repec:oup:jafrec:v:27:y:2018:i:3:p:251-273. is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Rodrik, Dani, 2014. "An African Growth Miracle?," CEPR Discussion Papers 10005, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Robert M. Solow, 1956. "A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(1), pages 65-94.
    6. Tarek M Harchaouia & Murat Üngörb, 2018. "The Lion on the Move Towards the World Frontier: Catching Up or Remaining Stuck?," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 27(3), pages 366-366.
    7. Jonathan Temple, 2006. "Aggregate Production Functions and Growth Economics," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 301-317.
    8. Chicoine, Luke, 2012. "AIDS mortality and its effect on the labor market: Evidence from South Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 256-269.
    9. Meeusen, Wim & van den Broeck, Julien, 1977. "Efficiency Estimation from Cobb-Douglas Production Functions with Composed Error," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 18(2), pages 435-444, June.
    10. Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Africa; Development; Growth Accounting; Dynamic Stochastic Frontiers;

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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