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Journal of Economic Literature: Vol. 37 No. 1 (March 1999)

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Explaining African Economic Performance

Article Citation

Collier, Paul, and Jan Willem Gunning. 1999. "Explaining African Economic Performance." Journal of Economic Literature, 37(1): 64-111.

DOI: 10.1257/jel.37.1.64

Abstract

Africa has had slow growth and a massive exodus of capital. In many respects it has been the most capital-hostile region. We review and interpret the aggregate-level and microeconomic literatures to identify the key explanations for this performance. There is a reasonable correspondence of the two sets of evidence, pointing to four factors as being important. These are a lack of openness to international trade; a high-risk environment; a low level of social capital; and poor infrastructure. These problems are to a substantial extent attributable to government behavior, and the paper includes a review of the political economy literature addressing that behavior.

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Authors

Collier, Paul (World Bank and Centre for the Study of African Economies, U Oxford)
Gunning, Jan Willem (Centre for the Study of African Economies, U Oxford)

JEL Classifications

O55: Economywide Country Studies: Africa
O57: Comparative Studies of Countries


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