African Successes, Volume IGovernment and Institutions

African Successes, Volume IGovernment and Institutions

Sebastian Edwards, Simon Johnson, and David N. Weil

Print publication date: 2017

ISBN: 9780226316222

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


This is volume I of a four volume set, with papers developed as part of a large-scale project and associated conference series funded by the Gates Foundation. It is comprised of careful empirical reports on progress with economic, political, and social development in Africa over recent decades. Papers are grouped by a rough hierarchy of development. The first volume therefore deals with the essential issues that any country must resolve if there is to be any kind of sustained economic growth and shared benefits from development: is there social peace, does the government function in any kind of reasonable manner, and how does the private sector cope with government dysfunction? The broad theme of our project was that Africa has made much more progress with economic and social development than is widely supposed, and that there is a great deal of success – particularly since 1990 – from which lessons can be gleaned. The papers in this volume deal with ensuring peace after civil conflict, establishing a robust level of revenue for government, thinking about the implications of who holds political power, creating secure property rights, and understanding the nature of the informal economy. Papers also cover important policy innovations, both around road safety and economic development more broadly. We also include a paper that could become a model of how to measure changes in household and per capita income using available data from Africa, and a detailed case study that focuses on the impact of foreign aid on growth.

Table of Contents

Series Introduction

Sebastian Edwards, Simon Johnson, and David N. Weil

Volume Introduction

Sebastian Edwards, Simon Johnson, and David N. Weil

I Political Economy and Conflict

1 Healing the Wounds

Katherine Casey, Rachel Glennerster, and Edward Miguel

3 Does Decentralization Facilitate Access to Poverty-Related Services?

Emilie Caldeira, Martial Foucault, and Grégoire Rota-Graziosi

4 Demographic Pressure and Institutional Change

Margaret S. McMillan, William A. Masters, and Harounan Kazianga

II Government Regulation and Basic Institutions

6 Deals versus Rules

Mary Hallward-Driemeier, Gita Khun-Jush, and Lant Pritchett

7 The Unofficial Economy in Africa

Rafael La Porta and Andrei Shleifer

8 State versus Consumer Regulation

James Habyarimana and William Jack

III Long-Run Assessments

9 Fifteen Years On

Murray Leibbrandt and James Levinsohn