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A simple time-insensitive index of instability as a proxy for the “Africa dummy” variable – A Note

Amavilah, Voxi (2019): A simple time-insensitive index of instability as a proxy for the “Africa dummy” variable – A Note.

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Abstract

This paper calculates a simple time-insensitive index of instability using discrete series of events. The calculation of the index does not require complex statistical analysis of event series, discrete-event systems analysis, or categorical analysis. It uses a simple, single-equation regression to estimate the effects of instability on Africa’s per capita GDP over the 1961-2018 period. The results are mixed, with some showing that instability has constrained Africa’s performance and others implying it has helped. The findings are not quite econometrically pure, but reasonable given that many relevant variables are missing from the regression. Hence, I resist the temptation to comment further until at least conventional factors like capital are included in this regression, while I insist that the index itself is sound.

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