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Distortions to agriculture and economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa

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  • Anderson, Kym
  • Bruckner, Markus

Abstract

To what extent has Sub-Saharan Africa's slow economic growth over the past five decades been due to price and trade policies that discouraged production of agricultural relative to non-agricultural tradables? This paper uses a new set of estimates of policy induced distortions to relative agricultural prices to address this question econometrically. First, the authors test if these policy distortions respond to economic growth, using rainfall and international commodity price shocks as instrumental variables. They find that on impact there is no significant response of relative agricultural price distortions to changes in real GDP per capita growth. Then, the authors test the reverse proposition and find a statistically significant and sizable negative effect of relative agricultural price distortions on the growth rate of Sub-Saharan African countries. The fixed effects estimates yield that, during the 1960-2005 period, a ten percentage points increase in distortions to relative agricultural prices decreased the region's real GDP per capita growth rate by about half a percentage point per annum.

Suggested Citation

  • Anderson, Kym & Bruckner, Markus, 2012. "Distortions to agriculture and economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6206, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6206
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Tony Addison & Atanu Ghoshray & Michalis P. Stamatogiannis, 2016. "Agricultural Commodity Price Shocks and Their Effect on Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(1), pages 47-61, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic Theory&Research; Achieving Shared Growth; Inequality; Markets and Market Access; Emerging Markets;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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