What is Driving the 'African Growth Miracle'?

74 Pages Posted: 14 May 2014 Last revised: 12 May 2022

See all articles by Margaret McMillan

Margaret McMillan

Tufts University - Department of Economics; International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Kenneth Harttgen

University of Zurich

Date Written: April 2014

Abstract

We show that much of Africa's recent growth and poverty reduction can be traced to a substantive decline in the share of the labor force engaged in agriculture. This decline has been accompanied by a systematic increase in the productivity of the labor force, as it has moved from low productivity agriculture to higher productivity manufacturing and services. These declines have been more rapid in countries where the initial share of the labor force engaged in agriculture is the highest and where commodity price increases have been accompanied by improvements in the quality of governance.

Suggested Citation

McMillan, Margaret and Harttgen, Kenneth, What is Driving the 'African Growth Miracle'? (April 2014). NBER Working Paper No. w20077, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2436706

Margaret McMillan (Contact Author)

Tufts University - Department of Economics ( email )

Medford, MA 02155
United States

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Kenneth Harttgen

University of Zurich ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006
Switzerland

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