HECER-UNU-WIDER Seminar - African economic growth
Productivity, policy syndromes and the importance of institutions
Augustin Kwasi Fosu, Deputy Director of UNU-WIDER.
Recent evidence from an exhaustive political-economy study of growth of African economies – the Growth Project of the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) - suggests that ‘policy syndromes’ have substantially contributed to the generally poor growth in sub-Saharan Africa during post-independence. The current article employs the unique data and insights generated by the Growth Project to further explore the importance of a ‘syndrome-free’ (SF) regime for growth in the region by examining: (i) the channels via which SF affects growth: total factor productivity (TFP) versus factors of production; and (ii) the role of institutions in mediating this impact, with special attention accorded the efficacy of the restraint on the executive branch of government in mitigating the potentially adverse effect of ethnicity.