Why Not Africa?

37 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 1999  

Richard B. Freeman

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); University of Edinburgh - School of Social and Political Studies; Harvard University; London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)

David L. Lindauer

Wellesley College - Department of Economics

Date Written: February 1999

Abstract

Various arguments have been used to explain Sub-Saharan Africa's economic decline. We find that a stress on investments in education as a prerequisite for more rapid growth is misplaced; that greater openness is far from sufficient to insure economic progress; that income inequality and urban bias are not so extreme as to foreclose prospects for more rapid growth and poverty alleviation; and that the constraints imposed by Sub-Saharan Africa's human and physical geography are not core explanations for the regions poor performance. If African countries can establish an institutional environment that enables individuals to gain the rewards of their investments, the alleged barriers to the region's growth should prove surmountable.

Suggested Citation

Freeman, Richard B. and Lindauer, David L., Why Not Africa? (February 1999). NBER Working Paper No. w6942. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=149688

Richard B. Freeman (Contact Author)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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University of Edinburgh - School of Social and Political Studies ( email )

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Harvard University ( email )

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London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) ( email )

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London WC2A 2AE

David L. Lindauer

Wellesley College - Department of Economics ( email )

106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02181
United States
781-283-2159 (Phone)
781-283-2177 (Fax)

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