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African Development: Beyond Income Convergence

Simplice A, Asongu (2012): African Development: Beyond Income Convergence.

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Abstract

In examining some big questions on African development, we provide evidence that dynamics of some development indicators could support both endogenous and neoclassical growth theories in the convergence debate. This paper investigates convergence in real per capita GDP and inequality adjusted human development in African countries, disaggregated into 11 homogenous panels based on regions(Sub-Saharan and North Africa), income-levels(low, middle, lower-middle and upper-middle), legal-origins(English common-law and French civil-law) and religious dominations(Christianity and Islam). Findings reveal, while human development supports the exogenous growth model and rejects the endogenous theory, its income component suggests the contrary. As a policy implication, looking beyond income convergence can provide a concrete agenda for development involving all aspects of economic, institutional and social life. Also, the income component of the human development index moves slower than others in the convergence process and thus requires a more focused policy intervention.

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