African Growth Recurring: An Economic History Perspective on African Growth Episodes, 1690-2010

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African Growth Recurring : An Economic History Perspective on African Growth Episodes, 1690-2010. / Jerven, Morten.

I: Economic History of Developing Regions, Vol. 25, Nr. 2, 2010, s. 127-154.

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TY - JOUR

T1 - African Growth Recurring

T2 - An Economic History Perspective on African Growth Episodes, 1690-2010

AU - Jerven, Morten

PY - 2010

Y1 - 2010

N2 - Africa has not suffered a chronic failure of growth. In fact, Africa has experienced recurring periods of growth, and this paper reviews some of these growth “spurts” to substantiate that claim. The immediate cause of low income in Africa is that these “spurts” have always been followed by a ‘‘bust’’. This is a significant reorientation of the central research question – away from a search for the root causes of Africa's underdevelopment and towards explaining the causes and effects of growth and decline. The growth spurts are approached as local responses to a global demand for African produced commodities. In this paper, I shall argue that these supply responses involved more than a reallocation of land and labour; they entailed investment and required institutional change. It is precisely because these periods of rapid economic change and accumulation caused significant qualitative changes in how society and the economy were organized that they cannot be ignored – as they have tended to be in the search for a root cause of Africa's chronic failure to achieve growth.

AB - Africa has not suffered a chronic failure of growth. In fact, Africa has experienced recurring periods of growth, and this paper reviews some of these growth “spurts” to substantiate that claim. The immediate cause of low income in Africa is that these “spurts” have always been followed by a ‘‘bust’’. This is a significant reorientation of the central research question – away from a search for the root causes of Africa's underdevelopment and towards explaining the causes and effects of growth and decline. The growth spurts are approached as local responses to a global demand for African produced commodities. In this paper, I shall argue that these supply responses involved more than a reallocation of land and labour; they entailed investment and required institutional change. It is precisely because these periods of rapid economic change and accumulation caused significant qualitative changes in how society and the economy were organized that they cannot be ignored – as they have tended to be in the search for a root cause of Africa's chronic failure to achieve growth.

KW - growth failure

KW - Africa

KW - institutions

KW - geography

KW - Dahomey

KW - Ghana

KW - Zambia

KW - Botswana

KW - N17

U2 - 10.1080/20780389.2010.527685

DO - 10.1080/20780389.2010.527685

M3 - Article

VL - 25

SP - 127

EP - 154

JO - Economic History of Developing Regions

JF - Economic History of Developing Regions

SN - 2078-0397

IS - 2

ER -