Africa: Why Economists Get It Wrong (African Arguments) by Morten Jerven

By Morten Jerven

No longer goodbye in the past, Africa was once being defined because the hopeless continent. lately, even though, speak has became to Africa emerging, with enthusiastic voices exclaiming the possibility of financial development throughout lots of its nations. What, then, is the reality in the back of Africa’s development, or loss of it?

In this provocative ebook, Morten Jerven essentially reframes the talk, not easy mainstream money owed of African fiscal background. when for the earlier twenty years specialists have considering explaining why there was a ‘chronic failure of growth’ in Africa, Jerven exhibits that almost all African economies were growing to be at a swift speed because the mid nineties. furthermore, African economies grew speedily within the fifties, the sixties, or even into the seventies. hence, African states have been brushed aside as incapable of improvement dependent mostly on observations made throughout the Nineteen Eighties and early Nineteen Nineties. the outcome has been erroneous research, and few sensible classes learned.

This is a necessary account of the true effect fiscal progress has had on Africa, and what it skill for the continent’s destiny.

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Additional resources for Africa: Why Economists Get It Wrong (African Arguments)

Sample text

The independent variables suggested in the literature may fit with the stylized fact of persistent stagnation, but they do not explain a change in economic performance. The problem with the focus on slow growth is that it is not compatible with the actual growth record. As we just saw, African economies have displayed both growth and decline; they have not been trapped in a low-level equilibrium where poverty has reproduced itself. As a result, the factors suggested in the subtraction approach and the circular reasoning in which they are embedded are not convincing and do not provide useful insight.

My answer is no. Many variables have been found to be positively or negatively correlated with slow growth, but none of the suggested variables actually matches a coherent narrative of cause and effect. A coherent narrative has to make sense, and for the narrative to make sense it is important that cause precedes effect. 20 This article grouped the most significant factors in African growth regressions into six categories: lack of social capital, lack of openness to trade, deficient public services, geography and risk, lack of financial depth, and high aid dependency.

By adding a variable to the regression that captures civil war, one might find a stronger relationship between growth and low initial income because low-income countries that experienced civil war had 22 23 Misunderstanding growth in Africa slow growth, and thus the investigation could reaffirm a belief in the catch-up growth hypothesis. In turn, this could lead to further research into how the fragility of states contributes to lower economic growth, and so on. This is how the cross-country growth regression literature went about it.

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