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  • Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity: General x
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Mr. Olumuyiwa S Adedeji, Huancheng Du, and Mr. Maxwell Opoku-Afari
The inclusiveness of growth depends on the extent of access to economic and social opportunities. This paper applies the concept of social opportunity function to ascertain the inclusiveness of growth episodes in selected African countries. Premised on the concept of social welfare function, inclusive growth is associated with increased average opportunities available to the population and improvement in their distribution. The paper establishes that the high growth episodes in the last decade in the selected countries came with increased average opportunities in education and health; but distribution of such opportunities varied across countries, depending on the country-specific policies underpining the growth episodes.
Ms. Olessia Korbut, Mr. Gonzalo Salinas, and Cheikh A. Gueye
Economic stagnation in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has led several economists to question the region’s ability to attain sustained economic growth, some of them arguing for the need to shift away from natural resource - based exports. Yet, we find that low growth has not been common to all SSA countries and that those that achieved political stability and significantly liberalized their economies experienced high growth in income per capita, as high as ASEAN-5 countries. This group of SSA countries attained high growth while maintaining their specialization in natural resource exports. Our analysis also rejects the hypothesis of reverse causality: that good growth performance allowed countries to attain political stability or liberalize their economies.
Mr. Kevin J Carey, Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, and Ms. Catherine A Pattillo

Abstract

Growth in sub-Saharan Africa has recently shown signs of improvement, but is still short of levels needed to attain the Millennium Development Goals. Economists have placed increasing emphasis on understanding the policies that promote sustained jumps in medium-term growth, and the paper applies this approach to African countries. The evidence presented finds an important growth-supporting role for particular kinds of institutions and policies, but also highlights aspects of growth that are still not well understood. The paper includes policy guidance for ensuring that the poor benefit from growth.

Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Ms. Catherine A Pattillo, and Mr. Kevin J Carey
Are improvements in growth in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) since the mid-1990s sustainable? What types of growth strategies contribute the most to reducing poverty? This paper examines these questions in four stages. First, it explores the factors contributing to the post- 1995 improvement in growth. Second, to shed some light on factors associated with substantial jumps in growth rates that are sustained in the medium term, an analysis of the correlates of growth accelerations is presented. Third, the paper examines the consistency of the SSA data with some important predictions from the literature directly linking such areas as fiscal policy, financial development, or institutions and growth. Fourth, it reviews recent evidence regarding lessons on the type of growth process that is most effective at raising the incomes of the poor.
Ms. Mwanza Nkusu
This paper demonstrates that the Dutch disease need not materialize in low-income countries that can draw on their idle productive capacity to satisfy the aid-induced increased demand. Diagnoses on, and prognoses for, the Dutch disease should take into account country-specific circumstances to avoid ill-advised policies. The paper emphasizes that using public resources inefficiently can be more painful than real exchange rate appreciations, which may not necessarily embody the Dutch disease.
Sudharshan Canagarajah and Mr. Saji Thomas
This paper describes the nature and evolution of poverty in Nigeria between 1985 and 1992. It highlights the potential wealth of the Nigerian economy and examines how the economic policies pursued in the 1980s and 1990s impacted economic growth and welfare. The headcount measure of poverty in Nigeria declined from 43 percent to 34 percent between 1985 and 1992. Decomposing the factors causing the reduction in poverty shows that the overall decline of 9 percentage point was the net result of a 14 percentage point decline owing to the growth factor and a 5 percentage point increase owing to the income distribution factor. The paper proposes that promoting broad-based growth and targeted interventions in health, education, and infrastructure need to be central strategies in the fight against poverty in Nigeria.