The Comparative Economics of Knowledge Economy in Africa: Policy Benchmarks, Syndromes and Implications

Journal of the Knowledge Economy, 8(2), pp. 596-637, June 2017

51 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2015 Last revised: 25 Jun 2017

See all articles by Simplice Asongu

Simplice Asongu

African Governance and Development Institute

Date Written: June 26, 2015

Abstract

The paper complements the scarce literature on knowledge economy (KE) in Africa by comparing KE dynamics within Africa in order to assess best and worst performers based on fundamental characteristics of the continent’s development. The five dimensions of the World Bank’s knowledge economy index (KEI) are employed, notably: education, information and communication technology, innovation and, economic incentives and institutional regime. The empirical evidence is based on a five-step novel approach with data from 53 African countries for the period 1996-2010. Limitations of the beta catch-up approach are complemented with the sigma convergence strategy. Based on the determined fundamental characteristics, computed dynamic benchmarks, policy syndromes and syndrome free scenarios we establish that: Landlocked, Low-income, Conflict-affected, sub-Saharan African, Non-oil-exporting and French civil law countries are generally more predisposed to lower levels of KE whereas; English common-law, Notlandlocked, Conflict-free, North African and middle-income countries are characteristics that predispose certain nations to higher KE. Broad and specific policy implications are discussed in detail.

Keywords: Knowledge economy; Benchmarks; Policy syndromes; Catch-up; Africa

JEL Classification: O10; O30; O38; O55; O57

Suggested Citation

Asongu, Simplice, The Comparative Economics of Knowledge Economy in Africa: Policy Benchmarks, Syndromes and Implications (June 26, 2015). Journal of the Knowledge Economy, 8(2), pp. 596-637, June 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2623456 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2623456

Simplice Asongu (Contact Author)

African Governance and Development Institute ( email )

P.O. Box 8413
Yaoundé, 8413
Cameroon

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