Economic Development: General

Aid Volatility and Structural Economic Transformation in sub-Saharan Africa: Does Finance Matter?

This paper departs from the traditional aid–economic growth studies through its examination of the impact of aid and its volatility on sectoral growth by relying on panel dataset of 37 sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries for the period 1980–2014. Findings from our system generalised methods of moments (GMM) show that, while foreign aid significantly drives economic transformation, aid volatility deteriorates sectoral value additions with huge impact on the non–tradable sector and a no apparent effect on the agricultural sector.

The Impact of Fractionalization on Cultural Distance Measures

We examine the impact of ethno-linguistic fractionalization (ELF) on existing cultural measures employed in various social sciences. Not only do high levels of fractionalization affect the use of statistical means to account for cultural distance, we show that it is not constant and therefore the dynamics of change need to be addressed. This provides us with an opportunity to bridge the cultural distance and institutional distance literature as institutions impact upon culture and MNEs, and institutional development is, in turn, affected by these.

Is Democracy Eluding Sub-Saharan Africa?

This paper analyses the modernisation hypothesis in the sub-Saharan African region. Using a sample of 48 countries from 1960 to 2010 and dynamic panel data analysis, we find a significant and negative relationship between income and democracy, an indication that the hypothesis may not hold in the region. We also investigate further by distinguishing between exogenous and endogenous democracy. The former explains whether external factors, such as the end of the Cold War, as well as regional influence, play a role in the process of democratisation in sub-Saharan Africa.

Does Education Promote Stable Property Rights?

This paper sets out to establish an empirical link between education and property rights. The analysis is based on a new index of property rights derived from a set of commonly used indicators. As expected, education has a generally positive impact on property rights. But the relationship is not linear. The effect also depends on level of income. More education might not always be good for property rights in lowincome countries.

The Impact of the Slave Trade on Literacy in Africa: Evidence from the Colonial Era

Recent studies have highlighted the importance of Africa's history of slave exporting to its current economic development. In this paper I show that differences in investment in education may be one of the channels through which that history has affected current development. I combine data on literacy rates of administrative districts from the colonial censuses of Nigeria and Ghana from the 1950's with data on slave exports of different ethnic groups.

Heights and Development in a Cash-Crop Colony: Living Standards in Ghana, 1870-1980

While Ghana is a classic case of economic growth in an agricultural‐export colony, scholars have queried whether it was sustained, and how far its benefits were widely distributed, socially and regionally. Using height as a measure of human well‐being we explore the evolution of living standards and regional inequality in Ghana from 1870 to 1980. Our findings suggest that, overall, living standards improved during colonial times and that a trend reversal occurred during the economic crisis in the 1973‐83.

Does Famine Matter For Aggregate Adolescent Human Capital Acquisition In Sub-Saharan Africa?

To the extent that in utero and childhood malnutrition negatively affects later stage mental and physical health, it can possibly constrain later stage human capital acquisition, which is an important driver of economic growth. This paper considers the impact of famine on aggregate adolescent human capital formation in Sub-Saharan Africa. We parameterize a joint adolescent human capital and food nutrition production function to estimate the effects of famine on primary school completion rates of individuals age 15 - 19.

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