Essays on African Growth, Productivity, and Trade

University dissertation from Department of Economics, Lund University

Abstract: The thesis comprises an introductory chapter and four research papers. The introductory chapter provides a brief overview of recent economic growth performance in Africa, places the individual papers into a coherent context, summarizes the main findings, and discusses their relevance for economic policy. The first paper, The Role of Capital Accumulation, Adjustment and Structural Change for Take-Off: Empirical Evidence from African Growth Episodes (co-authored with Professor Jean-Claude Berthélemy of the University of Paris-1, Panthéon-Sorbonne), provides a long-term assessment of economic growth in Africa, based a growth accounting analysis of a number of periods of strong and sustained growth in Africa. The paper's main conclusion is that sustainable growth needs to be underpinned by a balanced mix of capital accumulation, macroeconomic stabilization, and structural change. The second paper, Dynamics of Export Performance, Productivity and Real Effective Exchange Rate in Manufacturing: The Case of Cameroon, discusses the relationship between productivity growth and export performance based on an analysis that combines firm level data with macroeconomic variables. The analysis suggests that there is a mutually reinforcing relationship between productivity and exports, and points to the importance of real effective exchange rate management for the development of the manufacturing sector. The third paper, After the Oil: Challenges Ahead in Gabon, uses a simple general equilibrium model to study the economic implications of a sharp decline in the production of oil, Gabon's main export. The study emphasizes the importance of fiscal consolidation, structural reform geared toward improving Gabon's business climate, efforts to ensure good relations with creditor countries to facilitate debt relief, and adequate real exchange rate management. The final paper, Is the Middle East and Africa Region Achieving Its Trade Potential?, analyzes the potential existence of significant untapped export markets for Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Syria, and Tunisia, and studies the effects of these countries? integration efforts with the EU. Based on a gravity model approach, the paper makes two main conclusions: (i) several countries in the sample could gain significantly by approaching, in particular, the US; and (ii) the impact of integration efforts with the EU has generally been moderate, with some exceptions.

  This dissertation MIGHT be available in PDF-format. Check this page to see if it is available for download.