NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Why Not Africa?

Richard B. Freeman, David L. Lindauer

NBER Working Paper No. 6942
Issued in February 1999
NBER Program(s):   LS

Various arguments have been used to explain Sub-Saharan Africa's economic decline. We find that a stress on investments in education as a prerequisite for more rapid growth is misplaced; that greater openness is far from sufficient to insure economic progress; that income inequality and urban bias are not so extreme as to foreclose prospects for more rapid growth and poverty alleviation; and that the constraints imposed by Sub-Saharan Africa's human and physical geography are not core explanations for the regions poor performance. If African countries can establish an institutional environment that enables individuals to gain the rewards of their investments, the alleged barriers to the region's growth should prove surmountable.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w6942

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