English, Article, Journal or magazine article edition: Root Causes of African Underdevelopment Sambit Bhattacharyya

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Bookmark: http://trove.nla.gov.au/version/42060
Physical Description
  • preprint
Language
  • English

Edition details

Title
  • Root Causes of African Underdevelopment
Author
  • Sambit Bhattacharyya
Physical Description
  • preprint
Notes
  • What is the root cause of Africa’s current state of under-development? Is it the long history of slave trade, or the legacy of extractive colonial institutions, or the fallout of malaria? A precise answer still eludes us. This paper investigates the relative contribution of these historical factors using an instrumental variable approach. The results show that malaria matters the most and all other factors are statistically insignificant. The mechanism through which malaria impacts economic performance is demonstrated by a strong negative relationship between malaria and national savings and a two period overlapping generation model. The model shows that high malaria incidence adversely affects growth by increasing both mortality and morbidity. Increased mortality from malaria induces households to increase current consumption and save less for the future. Increased morbidity on the other hand adversely affects labour productivity. The combined impact of these two effects is a slowdown of capital accumulation and economic growth.
  • Malaria; Colonial Institutions; Slave Trade; Economic Development
  • RePEc:unp:wpaper:200704
  • What are the root causes of Africa's current state of under-development? Is it the long history of slave trade, or the legacy of extractive colonial institutions, or the fallout of malaria? We investigate the relative contributions of these factors using an instrumental variable approach. The results show that malaria matters the most and all other factors are statistically insignificant. Malaria also negatively affects savings. Using a two period overlapping generation model we show that malaria impacts economic performance by increasing both mortality and morbidity. Increased mortality increases current household consumption and discourages savings. Increased morbidity adversely affects labour productivity. The combined impact is a slowdown of capital accumulation and economic growth.
  • Poverty, Vulnerability, Food security, Cross-section data
  • RePEc:pas:papers:2008-16
Language
  • English
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