Real overvaluation, terms of trade shocks, and the cost to agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa
Starting from the premise that agriculture should be pivotal in the structural transformation and economic development of sub - Saharan Africa, the author addresses two related issues. First, the extent to which policy induced distortions influence the structure of incentives for agriculture (with direct distortions induced by policies aimed directly at agriculture distinguished from indirect policies aimed at the economy's macroeconomic management). The second issue is how these distortions affect agriculture's growth, given other growth fundamentals. Preliminary analysis of evidence in sub - Saharan Africa links the observed declines in agriculture and the general worsening of economic conditions to economic distortions. A more rigorous analysis, using data from the Sudan, an African country with a sizable agricultural economy, strongly supports the predictions of an endogenous growth model, which states the deleterious effects of economic distortions on growth.
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