Book Chapter
The African Economic Growth Record, and the Roles of Policy Syndromes and Governance

The current chapter, first, finds that although the post-independence growth of African economies has fallen substantially below that of other regions, this comparative evidence is less than uniform across time and countries. Second, it uncovers total factor productivity as the primary culprit underlying the generally dismal growth record. Third, reflecting recent evidence, the paper finds that “policy syndromes” represent a major factor explaining the growth performance, with their absence accounting for nearly a 3 percentage point rise in the annual per capita GDP growth via increases in TFP. Finally, the chapter finds that governance exerts positive direct and indirect impacts on growth; the latter is via the potential ability of governance to achieve a syndrome-free regime.

Chapter 6 in Akbar Noman, Kwesi Botchwey, Howard Stein and Joseph E. Stiglitz (eds), Good Growth and Governance in Africa.