Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 13 No. 3 (Summer 1999)


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Africa's Economic Performance: Limitations of the Current Consensus

Article Citation

Sender, John. 1999. "Africa's Economic Performance: Limitations of the Current Consensus." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 13(3): 89-114.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.13.3.89


Historical and micro-survey evidence, as well as the standard data from international organizations, support less pessimistic conclusions on Africa's development performance than those reached by many social scientists. The changes that have benefited women over the last four decades are highlighted; a discussion of growth in agricultural production follows. However, the complexity and the brutality of processes of social and economic change in Sub-Saharan African economies are also stressed. The theoretical implications of these complexities have not been adequately analyzed by World Bank economists. The Bank's recent efforts to reassess its policies are, therefore, unlikely to achieve the results anticipated.

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Sender, John (U London)

JEL Classifications

O10: Economic Development: General
O55: Economywide Country Studies: Africa


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