Development Economics and the underdevelopment of sub-Saharan Africa

For the last fifteen years most countries in sub-Saharan Africa—already the poorest region of the developing world—have experienced further declines in living standards, and in some cases, starvation. It is argued that this represents a test case for development economics, which has been a particularly controversial branch of the discipline in recent years. Two insights from the early ‘development economies’ of the 1950s—rural capital market imperfections and early ‘strategic trade policy’ arguments for protection—are shown to have continuing relevance in explaining African under-development. The argument is developed by reference to two large Asian countries—India and Indonesia—which lagged behind Africa in the 1980s, but which have now overtaken it, and whose experience, we argue, can suggest valuable ways forward for Africa in the 1990s.

Mosley, P. (1995), Development economics and the underdevelopment of sub-Saharan Africa. J. Int. Dev., 7: 685–706. doi:10.1002/jid.3380070502
Media Type: 
Journal Article

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