Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Endogenous constraints, coefficients of economic distance, and economic performance of African countries – An exploratory essay

Amavilah, Voxi Heinrich (2018): Endogenous constraints, coefficients of economic distance, and economic performance of African countries – An exploratory essay.

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Abstract

Existing literature has overstressed the importance of exogenous constraints in the economic performance of African countries at the expense of endogenous constraints, although the latter are longer-lasting and more self-propagating than the former. In this exploratory essay I put endogenous factors upfront, and introduce and define the concept of economic distance. I argue that the coefficient of economic distance is a better measure of what is going on than things like the Africa dummy, for example. The evidence I consider suggests that policy and future research will benefit from focused studies of endogenous constraints on economic performance. The essay is incomplete without its empirical complement, but it succeeds in holding up a mirror in front of these countries. The implication is that continued emphasis on exogenous constraints is a misallocation of scarce policy and research resources.

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